U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17384 / February 27, 2002
SEC FILES SETTLED ACTION FOR INSIDER TRADING IN PLASMA THERM, INC. STOCK; DEFENDANT AGREES TO PAY MORE THAN $330,000 IN DISGORGEMENT AND PENALTIES
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert Bartzoff, Case No. 8:02-CV-325-T-24TBM (M.D. Fla., Tampa Division)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that on February 21, 2002, it filed and simultaneously settled an action for securities fraud in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Robert Bartzoff, formerly of St. Petersburg, Florida. In its complaint the SEC alleges that from August 13, 1999 through December 20, 1999, Bartzoff used material non-public information regarding an impending tender offer to purchase shares of Florida-based Plasma-Therm, Inc. The SEC further alleges that Bartzoff acquired the information in confidence from his wife, a former employee of the company, and that Bartzoff purchased the Plasma-Therm stock without his wife's knowledge. According to the complaint, Bartzoff's illicit trading earned him profits of more than $291,000.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint, except as to jurisdiction, Bartzoff consented to pay full disgorgement of $291,200.63, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $31,364.16 and a civil money penalty of $10,000. In agreeing to the $10,000 penalty, the SEC took into account Bartzoff's demonstrated financial inability to pay a higher penalty. Bartzoff also consented to the entry of a final judgment of permanent injunction enjoining him from future violations of Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3(a), thereunder.