UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
|In the Matter of
ORDER INSTITUTING PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS, MAKING FINDINGS, AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems it appropriate and in the public interest to institute public administrative proceedings against David Blech ("Blech") pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act").
In anticipation of the institution of this administrative proceeding, Blech has submitted an Offer of Settlement ("Offer") which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purposes of this proceeding, and any other proceeding brought by or on behalf of the Commission, or in which the Commission is a party, and without admitting or denying the findings set forth herein, except as to the findings in Section III.A. and the entry of the injunction and the criminal conviction set forth in Sections III.B. and III.C, below, and the jurisdiction of the Commission over him and over the subject matter of this administrative proceeding, which he admits, Blech consents to the issuance of this Order and to the entry of the findings and the imposition of the remedial sanctions set forth below.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted against Blech pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act.
On the basis of this Order and Blech's Offer, the Commission finds that:
A. From January 1990 until September 22, 1994, Blech was associated with David Blech & Company, Incorporated ("D. Blech & Co."), a now defunct broker-dealer which previously was registered with the Commission pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act.
B. On December 5, 2000, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York permanently enjoined Blech, on consent, from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), and Sections 10(b), 15(c) and 17(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-3, 10b-5, 15c1-2, 15c3-1, 17a-3, 17a-4, 17a-5 and 17a-11 thereunder in SEC v. David Blech, et al., 99 Civ. 4770 (RWS) (S.D.N.Y.). This injunction was based on the following conduct. Blech was the Chief Executive Officer of D. Blech & Co., which specialized in underwriting and making markets in biotechnology securities. In 1994, the biotechnology industry experienced a cyclical downturn and the price of securities that D. Blech & Co. made a market in declined. Because D. Blech & Co. held large inventory positions in these biotechnology securities, and the equity value of these securities decreased, D. Blech & Co. experienced a net capital crisis. In an attempt to keep D. Blech & Co. afloat, from at least June 1, 1994 through September 22, 1994, Blech engaged in unlawful and unauthorized trading of seven biotechnology securities. D. Blech & Co. also failed to maintain adequate net capital and failed to keep accurate books and records from approximately March through September 1994, and Blech, who controlled D. Blech & Co., was liable for these violations. In addition, Blech engaged in unlawful and unauthorized trading of several biotechnology stocks between approximately November 1997 and January 1998.
C. On March 28, 1998, in an action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Blech pled guilty and was convicted of two counts of securities fraud. United States v. David Blech, 97 Crim. 403 (KTD) (S.D.N.Y.) Blech's convictions were based on his unlawful and unauthorized trading of biotechnology securities from June 1994 through September 1994, and from November 1997 through January 1998.
Based on the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions specified in Blech's Offer.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that effective immediately, Blech be, and hereby is, barred from association with any broker or dealer.
By the Commission.
Jonathan G. Katz
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