UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. LR-17678 / August 13, 2002
SEC SETTLES FINANCIAL FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST MARK A. TAYLOR, SR., AND KEVIN J. RUGGIERO
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION V. TANNER, ET AL., 02-CIV-0306 (S.D.N.Y.)
New York -- The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced that on July 26, 2002, the Honorable William H. Pauley, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, entered Final Consent Judgments of Injunction and Other Relief ("Judgments") against Mark A. Taylor, Sr. ("Taylor") of Brooksville, Florida, and Kevin J. Ruggiero ("Ruggiero") of Hewitt, New Jersey. The Judgments enjoined them from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Taylor's Judgment provides that the Commission's claim for disgorgement against him is satisfied by the $3,585,375 in restitution ordered against him in a related criminal proceeding. Ruggiero's Judgment orders him to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest in the amount of $1,024,251, but waives such payment and does not impose a civil monetary penalty based upon Ruggiero's sworn representations in his statement of financial condition and other documents submitted to the Commission.
The Commission also announced that on August 13, 2002, it instituted a settled administrative proceeding pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act against Taylor, a registered representative and a principal of G.L. Barrett & Associates Securities Inc., and Ruggiero, a registered representative and a principal of Baxter, Banks, & Smith Ltd. Taylor and Ruggiero agreed to an order barring them from association with any broker or dealer.
The Commission's Complaint alleged that Taylor, Ruggiero, and others engaged in a scheme to manipulate the stock price of Maid Aide, Inc., a publicly traded shell company. To facilitate the scheme, they gained control of Maid Aide, set up two boiler room operations, and directed unlicensed brokers to sell unregistered stock at artificially inflated prices, using high-pressure sales tactics, in exchange for undisclosed kickbacks. Through this scheme, the defendants defrauded investors out of more than $3.7 million.
In a related criminal proceeding, a federal grand jury indicted both Taylor and Ruggiero for, among other things, conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with trading the stock of Maid Aide, Inc. U.S. v. Tanner, et al., CR-S-00-0193-KDL-LRL. Taylor pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Taylor was sentenced to a five-month prison term and to pay $3,585,375 in restitution. United States v. Mark Anthony Taylor, CR 446-T-24MSS (MD. Fl.). Ruggiero has not yet been sentenced.
See also: L.R. 17305 (January 14, 2002)