SEC Permanently Suspends Attorney From Practicing Before Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., March 3, 2008 - The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it has permanently suspended from practicing before the Commission an attorney who took a primary role in his client's fraud and filed false and misleading documents with the Commission.
Moneesh K. Bakshi was suspended based on an injunction entered against him by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The court found that Bakshi misused his role as corporate counsel for Ramoil Management Ltd. to violate, and aid and abet Ramoil's violations of, the federal securities laws. In part as a result of Bakshi's fraud, Ramoil's stock price rose to an all-time high of $20 per share, before plunging to less than 10 cents per share and eventually being de-listed.
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said, "This action demonstrates once again that the Commission will act vigilantly to ensure that lawyers for public companies who disregard their responsibilities will be prevented from using their license as a means to commit further frauds on the market."
On Oct. 25, 2007, the District Court entered a decision and order in the SEC's favor against Bakshi for his knowingly filing a Form 10-KSB that included an unsigned and falsified audit report; and for knowingly making false representations in registration statements on Forms S-8 and supporting opinion letters related to Ramoil issuing shares for consulting services that were never performed. The court ordered Bakshi to pay a $100,000 penalty.
The Commission's temporary suspension against Bakshi, imposed Dec. 28, 2007, became permanent when no petition to lift the suspension was received. The Commission determined that allowing Bakshi — who remains a licensed attorney — to continue appearing and practicing before the Commission would not be in the public interest because of Bakshi's willful violations of the federal securities laws.