U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 21379 / January 15, 2010
United States of America v. Gregg Thomas Rennie, Criminal Action No. 09-CR-10285-EFH, (D. Mass.)
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Gregg Thomas Rennie, Civil Action No. 09-CV-10107-DPW, (D. Mass.)
MASSACHUSETTS BROKER PLEADS GUILTY TO CRIMINAL CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH SECURITIES FRAUD
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission"), announced today that on January 12, 2010, Gregg Thomas Rennie, 43, of Quincy, Massachusetts, pled guilty to thirteen counts of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud in a case being prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office in Boston, Massachusetts. On September 30, 2009 the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a criminal Information against Rennie, a licensed securities broker, charging that he defrauded investors by selling approximately $3.2 million in purported investments in federally subsidized real estate developments, among other things, and used the investors' funds to pay his own expenses and debts. Rennie is scheduled for sentencing in front of U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington on April 13, 2010.
The Commission previously filed a civil injunctive action against Rennie based on similar conduct on January 23, 2009. According to the Commission's complaint, from early 2007 through early 2009, Rennie made misrepresentations to several of his clients about investing their money in risk-free "federal housing certificates" that paid up to 12% per year, tax free, and were offered by a real estate investment company based in Boston. In fact, however, the complaint alleges that the investments were completely fictitious and that Rennie had no relationship with the real estate investment company whose name he used. According to the Commission's filings, Rennie defrauded clients who were elderly, including an 89 year old man. The filings allege that Rennie induced some clients to cash out their investments in annuities, incurring substantial surrender charges, in order to invest in his fraudulent program. According to the complaint, Rennie used investor proceeds to pay personal expenses, including a gym membership and liquor, grocery, shoe and department store purchases, and withdrew thousands of dollars in cash from the account where investor funds were sent.
On May 18, 2009, the Commission obtained a final judgment by default against Rennie in which he was enjoined from future violations of the securities laws and ordered to pay disgorgement in the amount of $3,678,377, representing profits gained as a result of the conduct alleged in the Commission's Complaint, prejudgment interest in the amount of $30,653, and a penalty of $500,000.
On May 29, 2009, the Commission instituted administrative proceedings against Rennie based on the entry of the final judgment by default in the civil injunctive action to determine what, if any, remedial action was appropriate and in the public interest. On August 12, 2009, Administrative Law Judge James T. Kelly issued an order by default barring Rennie from association with any broker or dealer or investment adviser.
For further information, please see: Exchange Act Release No. 60482 (August 12, 2009), Exchange Act Release No. 60007 (May 29, 2009), Litigation Release Nos. 21043 (May 18, 2009), and 20865 (January 23, 2009).