United States of America
Securities and Exchange Commission
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Release No. 45408 / February 6, 2002
File No. 3-10695
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 Alefheim Prodani ("Prodani") pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act").
In anticipation of the institution of this administrative proceeding, Prodani 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 set forth in Section III.C, below, and the jurisdiction of the Commission over him and over the subject matter of this administrative proceeding, which he admits, Prodani 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 Prodani pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act.
On the basis of this Order and Prodani's Offer, the Commission finds that:
- Prodani is currently, and at all relevant times was, a trader and registered representative at Baird Patrick & Co., Inc. ("Baird Patrick"), 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 ("Blech"), the Chief Executive Officer of D. Blech & Co., Incorporated ("D.Blech & Co.") orchestrated a manipulation of the markets for 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 purchases and sales of these securities through the D. Blech & Co. house accounts, as well as customer accounts that Blech controlled at D. Blech & Co. and Baird Patrick (the "Controlled Accounts").
- Prodani was a trader at Baird Patrick who made a market in the Blech Stocks and was also the registered representative for seventeen Blech Controlled Accounts at Baird Patrick.
- From at least June 1, 1994 to September 22, 1994, Prodani knowingly or recklessly participated in Blech's manipulative scheme by executing trades in Controlled Accounts at Baird Patrick on Blech's instructions, rather than after speaking with the actual account holders; and executing wash sales and matched orders in the Blech Stocks.
- Prodani used the mails, telephone, facsimile transmissions and other instrumentalities of interstate commerce with respect to the foregoing conduct.
- By engaging in the conduct described above, Prodani 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, Prodani 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.
Based on the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions specified in Prodani's Offer.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that effective immediately, Prodani be, and hereby is, suspended from association with any broker or dealer for nine months, effective on the second Monday following the entry of this Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Prodani shall provide to the Commission, within twenty days after the end of the nine-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