SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 17964 / February 3, 2003
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. RICHARD J. BRIDEN, EMPOWERMENT FUNDING GROUP, LLC AND INFOPRO GROUP, LTD (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, C.A. No. 99cv11009-RCL)
The Commission announced today the entry of a final judgment in a prime bank securities fraud case. On January 21, 2003, The Honorable Reginald C. Lindsay, of the United States Court for the District of Massachusetts, entered a judgment by consent against Richard J. Briden and two corporations he controlled. Briden, without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations, settled the matter by consenting to the entry of an injunction against future violations of the securities and broker dealer-registration provisions as well as the general antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. No penalties were imposed by the Court based on Briden's sworn financial statements and other documents submitted to the Commission.
The Commission's complaint alleged that during 1998, Briden and the two corporations he controlled raised $295,000 from seven friends and relatives for a non-existent high-yield trading program in Europe. To date, the investors have recovered only $50,000, and title to certain real estate in Florida is being held for the benefit of the investors.
The Court's judgment permanently enjoins all three defendants from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act.