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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Before the

Release No. 49735 / May 19, 2004

Release No. 2238 / May 19, 2004

Admin. Proc. File No. 3-11403

In the Matter of




The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) commenced this proceeding on February 18, 2004, with an Order Instituting Proceedings (OIP) against Respondent John F. Turant, Jr. (Turant). On February 23, 2004, Turant was served with the OIP. On March 26, 2004, the Division of Enforcement (Division) filed a motion for default based on Turant's failure to file an answer. On March 31, 2004, I issued an order granting Turant until April 15, 2004, to file an answer. As of today's date, Turant has not filed an answer. On May 3, 2004, a telephonic prehearing conference was held in which the Division participated, but Turant did not. On May 3, 2004, I issued an order requiring Turant to show cause by May 14, 2004, why he should not be held in default. Turant has failed to show cause why he should not be held in default.

Since Turant failed to file a timely answer and failed to appear at a prehearing conference, he is in default. See 17 C.F.R. 201.155(a), .220(f). Pursuant to Rule 155(a) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. 201.155(a), I find the following facts to be true as described in the OIP:

From January 1996 through February 1997, Turant worked at two broker-dealers registered with the Commission, Bishop Allen, Inc., and Meyers Pollock Robbins, Inc., as a trainee and a registered representative, respectively. From February 1997 through October 1997, Turant was a registered representative at Tasin & Company, Inc., a broker-dealer registered with the Commission. In 2000, Turant established Investment Advisor Group, LLC (IAG), as a Nevada limited liability company. Records of the Nevada Secretary of State identify Turant as a member, manager, or partner of IAG. IAG was registered as an investment adviser in Pennsylvania until December 31, 2003, when its registration was terminated. Turant held himself out as a "senior investment adviser" of IAG until approximately February 2003.

On September 15, 2003, the Commission filed a complaint seeking a permanent injunction, disgorgement, and civil penalties against Turant, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, a court of competent jurisdiction. I find the following facts to be true, as described in the complaint: From July 1999 until March 2003, Turant and others engaged in a scheme to defraud over 100 investors of approximately $4.5 million. They made false and misleading statements to investors in order to obtain their funds and convert them to their personal use. Turant and others falsely promised investors that they would invest investor money in one of two purported hedge funds for the purpose of day-trading securities, and that these funds made annual returns of 20 to 120 percent. In fact, Turant and others misappropriated the vast majority of the investor money for their own personal use and they repaid existing investors with the funds, thereby conducting a Ponzi scheme. They concealed their scheme by creating and distributing fictitious monthly account statements and other documents, which reported false balances and false profits in the purported hedge fund accounts.

On January 29, 2004, the district court granted the Commission's Application for Judgment by Default and entered a final judgment permanently enjoining Turant from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and ordering Turant to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $1,742,118.62 (jointly and severally with others) and to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $120,000.

On the basis of the foregoing, it is appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions requested by the Division against Turant.

IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that John F. Turant, Jr., be, and he hereby is, BARRED from association with any broker or dealer; and

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, that John F. Turant, Jr., be, and he hereby is, BARRED from association with any investment adviser.

Lillian A. McEwen
Administrative Law Judge


Modified: 05/19/2004