UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
| ORDER INSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE|
PROCEEDINGS, MAKING FINDINGS,
AND IMPOSING A REMEDIAL SANCTION
PURSUANT TO SECTION 15(b) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission") deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be instituted pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") against Respondents Mark A. Taylor, Sr. ("Taylor") and Kevin J. Ruggiero ("Ruggiero").
In anticipation of the institution of these proceedings, Taylor and Ruggiero each have submitted an Offer of Settlement ("Offer"), which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purpose of this proceeding or 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 below, except as to jurisdiction of the Commission over Respondents and over the subject matter of this proceeding, except as to the criminal convictions set forth in paragraph III.C., below, and except as to the entry of the final judgments set forth in paragraphs III.D., below, which are admitted, Taylor and Ruggiero consent to the entry of this Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings, Making Findings, and Imposing a Remedial Sanction Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Order').
On the basis of this Order and Taylor's and Ruggiero's Offers, the Commission makes the following findings:
A. From July 1998 through March 1999, Taylor was a registered representative and a principal of G.L. Barrett & Associates Securities Inc., a broker-dealer registered with the Commission.
B. At all relevant times, Ruggiero was a registered representative of a registered broker-dealer.
C. On September 19, 2000, Taylor and Ruggiero were indicted by a federal grand jury in U.S v. Tanner, et al., CR-S-00-0193-KDL-LRL, for, among other things, conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with trading the stock of Maid Aide, Inc. ("MDAN"). On November 21, 2000, Taylor entered into a plea agreement in connection with matters alleged in the indictment. On January 25, 2002, Taylor was sentenced, among other things, to serve a term of imprisonment of five months and to pay restitution of $3,585,375. On April 17, 2001, Ruggiero entered into a plea agreement in connection with matters alleged in the indictment.
D. On July 26, 2002, Taylor and Ruggiero were permanently enjoined, on consent, by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in SEC v. Tanner, et al., 02 Civ. 0306 (WHP) (the "Injunctive Action"), from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, in connection with trading the stock of MDAN.
E. The Commission's Complaint in the Injunctive Action alleged, in part, as follows: Taylor and Ruggiero participated in a scheme to manipulate the public trading market for the stock of Maid Aide, Inc., a public shell company. To facilitate the scheme, Taylor, Ruggiero, and others gained control of MDAN, set up two boiler room operations, and directed unlicensed brokers at these boiler rooms to sell unregistered stock at artificially inflated prices, using high-pressure sales tactics, in exchange for undisclosed kickbacks. Through this scheme, the defendants defrauded investors of more than $3.7 million.
Based upon the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to accept Taylor's and Ruggiero's Offers of Settlement and accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Taylor and Ruggiero be, and hereby are, barred from association with any broker or dealer.
For the Commission, by its Secretary, pursuant to delegated authority.
Jonathan G. Katz
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