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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Before the
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Release No. 50560 / October 19, 2004

Admin. Proc. File No. 3-11549


In the Matter of

BRUCE H. BARBERS and CRAIG H. COLWELL,

Respondent.



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ORDER MAKING FINDINGS AND IMPOSING SANCTION BY DEFAULT AGAINST RESPONDENT BARBERS AND ORDER STAYING PROCEEDING AS TO RESPONDENT COLWELL

The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) instituted this proceeding on July 15, 2004, pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act). Respondent Bruce H. Barbers (Barbers) was served with the Order Instituting Proceedings (OIP) on July 20, 2004. As of today, Barbers has not filed an Answer in accordance with Rule 220(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. 201.220(c). Barbers also failed to attend a scheduled prehearing conference on October 7, 2004. See 17 C.F.R. 201.155(a)(1).

On August 18, 2004, I noted in an order that Barbers had yet to file an Answer to the OIP. On September 7, 2004, the Division of Enforcement (Division) filed its motion for an entry of a default order against Barbers for failing to file a timely Answer. On September 14, 2004, I ordered Barbers to show cause why he should not be found in default and the proceedings determined against him for failing to file a timely Answer. Barbers, evidently responding to my August 18 order referencing his delinquent Answer, submitted a letter titled "Overlooked Answer Regarding July 17, '04" (Overlooked Answer), which was not received in this Office until September 16, 2004. Therein, Barbers wrote, "Please be advised that I did in fact answer [the OIP] or [sic] on August 13, 2004." I issued an order that afternoon scheduling a telephonic prehearing conference for October 7, 2004, to address the issue of whether Barbers had, in fact, properly answered the OIP. Barbers subsequently failed to attend that October 7 prehearing conference, and on October 12, 2004, the Division filed its renewed motion for an entry of default against Barbers (Renewed Motion), for failing to file an Answer.

Barbers is presently incarcerated in a Federal Work Camp in Pensacola, Florida. Besides the Overlooked Answer, Barbers has made two other filings with this Office. The first letter, received by the Secretary's Office on August 2, 2004, requested an abatement of the proceeding until Barbers is released from prison or, in the alternative, an assignment of pro bono counsel to represent him. Both requests were denied. The other letter, referenced in the Overlooked Answer, was dated August 13 but not received in this Office until August 20, 2004. It was titled "Request for a pre telephonic hearing." The following is the contents of this August 20 letter in its entirety:

Please take notice that I wish to engage a pre telephonic hearing in this matter. However, I will have to consuly [sic] with my unit counselor to determine a convenient time to conduct such proceeding from this institution.

Therefore, I would like for you, to extend the August 24, 2004, hearing in this case, to at least thirty(30) days.

This will allow me to appropriately set a tellephonic [sic] hearing through my unit counselor. If not, then I am absolutely unable to partake in the scheduled proceeding, given rise to my current incarcerated situation.

Thanks for your cooperation in the disclosure process.

There is nothing in any of Barbers's filings that can be construed under the Commission's Rules of Practice as an Answer to the allegations in the OIP. In pertinent part, Rule 220(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. 201.220(c), states that "an answer shall specifically admit, deny, or state that the party does not have, and is unable to obtain, sufficient information to admit or deny each allegation in the order instituting proceedings. . . . Any allegation not denied shall be deemed admitted." Although Barbers is represented pro se, I have given him sufficient notice that his filings in this matter were deficient, referencing this fact in all four of my previous orders. I have also afforded him ample opportunity to answer the OIP according to the Commission's Rules of Practice, the last of which was the October 7 telephonic prehearing conference that he failed to attend. Because Barbers has failed to file an Answer to the OIP and failed to appear at a scheduled prehearing conference, I deem Barbers in default and find the following allegations as to him in the OIP to be true. See 17 C.F.R. 201.155(a), .220.

Barbers was a registered representative associated with Meyers Pollock Robbins, Inc. (Meyers Pollock), a registered broker dealer in New York, New York, from 1991 through 1998. On April 3, 2000, Barbers pled guilty to two counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and securities fraud, and with engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity and aiding and abetting such conduct. United States v. Barbers, No. 00-CR-20028-01 (W.D. Tenn. 2000). The indictment alleged, and the plea agreement admitted, that between October 1995 and November 1996, while employed as a registered representative of Meyers Pollock, a registered broker-dealer, Barbers conspired with an individual to commit mail, wire, and securities fraud. Barbers committed these crimes by accepting undisclosed payments from the co-conspirator as an incentive to sell certain securities provided by the co-conspirator to the investing public through Meyers Pollock and to conceal the payments from customers, brokers, and dealers to prevent them from knowing the origins and source of the payments.

Barbers's criminal conviction, which arose from his conduct as an associated person of Meyers Pollock, a broker-dealer, involved fraud in the purchase or sale of securities, which was an object of the conspiracy. Between December 1995 and August 1996, a co-conspirator paid Barbers a total of $141,155. The two agreed that the co-conspirator would pay Barbers as an incentive to cause Meyers Pollock to purchase the notes for resale and for Barbers to sell them to the public. Barbers willfully concealed the payments from customers, brokers, and dealers. Barbers's judgment of conviction was entered on December 5, 2000.

Section 15(b)(6)(A)(ii) of the Exchange Act authorizes barring a registered representative from associating with a broker-dealer when such a bar is in the public interest and that person has been convicted of certain offenses referred to in Section 15(b)(4)(B) of the Exchange Act within ten years of the commencement of the proceedings. Barbers's federal conviction was such an offense, and his conviction was entered within ten years of the institution of this proceeding.

In view of the foregoing, I find it in the public interest to bar Barbers from association with any broker or dealer.

IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Bruce H. Barbers is hereby BARRED from association with any broker or dealer.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 161(c)(2) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. 201.161(c)(2), the Division's motion for a stay as to Craig H. Colwell (Colwell) is hereby GRANTED as the Division is in receipt of Colwell's signed settlement offer. Under Rule 161(c)(2), the Division has until November 16, 2004, to submit the settlement offer and accompanying recommendation to the Commission for consideration. Upon any development in this regard, the Division shall notify this Office forthwith.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a telephonic prehearing conference be held on November 18, 2004, at 2 p.m. Eastern time, so as to update the undersigned on the status of the settlement offer.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the hearing as to Colwell, set for October 19, 2004, is hereby stayed until a date and time to be determined.

______________________________
Lillian A. McEwen
Administrative Law Judge


http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/34-50560.htm


Modified: 10/20/2004