United States of America
Securities and Exchange Commission
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Release No. 45407 / February 6, 2002
File No. 3-10694
In the Matter of
|ORDER INSTITUTING PUBLIC|
MAKING FINDINGS, AND
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems it appropriate and in the public interest to institute public administrative proceedings against Richard Silverman ("Silverman") pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act").
In anticipation of the institution of this administrative proceeding, Silverman 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 entry of the injunction set forth in Section III.(C) of this Order, below, which is admitted, and the jurisdiction of the Commission over him and over the subject matter of this administrative proceeding, which he admits, Silverman 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 Silverman pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act.
On the basis of this Order and Silverman's Offer, the Commission finds that:
- In 1994 Silverman was a licensed NASD general securities principal at D. Blech & Company, Incorporated ("D. Blech & Co."), a registered broker-dealer.
- On September 10, 1999, the Commission filed an amended complaint in SEC v. David Blech, et al., 99 Civ. 4770 (RWS)(S.D.N.Y.), alleging that:
- In 1994, David Blech, the Chief Executive Officer of D. Blech & Co., orchestrated a manipulation of the markets for numerous biotechnology securities that D. Blech & Co. held in its inventory, including BioSepra, Inc. common stock, Intelligent Surgical Lasers, Inc. (now known as Escalon Medical Corp.) Class A Warrants, HemaSure, Inc. common stock, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. units, Ecogen Inc. common stock, MicroProbe Corporation (now known as Epoch Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) common stock and MicroProbe warrants. Specifically, Blech directed purchase and sale orders of these securities through the D. Blech & Co. house accounts, as well as customer accounts that Blech controlled (the "Controlled Accounts") at D. Blech & Co.
- In 1994 Silverman held the positions of head trader and senior trader and in those positions was responsible for all trading at D. Blech & Co. and ensuring that Blech's purchase and sale orders described above were executed.
- From at least June 1, 1994 to September 19, 1994, Silverman knowingly or recklessly participated in the manipulation of the Blech Stocks and knowingly or recklessly executed manipulative trades at D. Blech & Co.
- Silverman routinely executed trades involving the purchase or sale of biotechnology securities from D. Blech & Co.'s house and customer accounts.
- Silverman knowingly or recklessly executed trades involving the parking of biotechnology securities in Controlled Accounts.
- Silverman knowingly or recklessly executed trades in Controlled Accounts that were directed by Blech and were not authorized by the true account holders.
- Silverman knowingly or recklessly executed wash sales and matched orders, and other trades designed to facilitate Blech's scheme.
- Silverman knew or recklessly disregarded that other traders whom he supervised at D. Blech & Co. executed manipulative trades, such as parking, unauthorized trades, wash sales and matched orders.
- Silverman used the mails, telephone, facsimile transmissions and other instrumentalities of interstate commerce to further Blech's scheme.
- By engaging in the conduct described above, Silverman violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
- On January 31, 2002, in SEC v. David Blech, et al., 99 Civ. 4770 (RWS), Silverman was permanently enjoined, on consent, by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and ordered to pay $20,000 in civil penalties.
Based on the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions specified in Silverman's Offer.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Silverman be, and hereby is, suspended from association with any broker or dealer for a period of six months, effective on the second Monday following the entry of this Order, and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Silverman shall provide to the Commission, within twenty days after the end of the six-month suspension period described above, an affidavit that he has complied fully with the terms of the suspension described above.
By the Commission.
Jonathan G. Katz