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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


Litigation Release No. 16958 / April 10, 2001

SEC v. LAWRENCE PRINCIPATO and TODD ROBERTI, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Case No. 01-MS-24 (D.D.C. January 8, 2001)

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it obtained a federal district court order directing defendants Lawrence Principato (Principato) and Todd Roberti (Roberti) to comply with a Commission order previously entered against them with their consent (Commission Order). On February 28, 2001, the Hon. Richard W. Roberts, of the United States District Court of the District of Columbia, issued an order under Section 21(e)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 directing Roberti and Principato to comply with the Commission Order. The Commission Order, which was entered on July 24, 2001, barred Principato and Roberti from association with any broker-dealer, ordered Roberti and Principato to pay more than $748,000 in disgorgement and penalties, revoked the broker-dealer registration of L.T. Lawrence & Co, Inc. (LTL) and ordered Roberti, Principato and LTL to cease and desist from future violations of the anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions of the federal securities laws. The Commission Order resolved the administrative proceeding brought in June 1999, which charged that Principato, Roberti and LTL engaged in the manipulation of the initial public offering of two microcap companies, Bigmar, Inc. and Ecotyre Technologies, Inc. between December 1995 and June 1996. The Commission found in the administrative proceeding that Roberti and Principato, through LTL, artificially inflated the price of Bigmar and Ecotyre securities by controlling the distribution of both IPOs and then dominating and controlling the first day of aftermarket trading in both Ecotyre and Bigmar securities. Roberti, Principato and LTL consented to the Commission Order without admitting or denying the findings of the Commission Order, except for the Commission's jurisdiction.

In the federal district court action, which was filed on January 8, 2001, the Commission alleged in its application that Roberti and Principato have failed to make any payment of the disgorgement and penalty amounts required by the Commission Order. Judge Roberts entered the Section 21(e)(1) order after Roberti and Principato failed to file an answer to the Commission's application.