U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19842 / September 21, 2006
SEC v. Anthony F. Giordano, Civil Action No. 06-60033 (Graham, J.; O'Sullivan, M.J.) (S.D. Florida, filed January 9, 2006)
SEC v. Joseph Y. Zumwalt, Civil Action No. 06-61407 (Moreno, J.; Simonton, M.J.) (S.D. Florida, filed September 18, 2006)
Securities Law Recidivist Sentenced to 120 Months in Prison and Ordered to Pay $5.5 Million in Restitution for Hedge Fund Fraud and Stock Manipulation
Co-Conspirator Charged Civilly and Awaiting Sentencing on Parallel Criminal Charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on September 20, 2006, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida sentenced Anthony F. Giordano to a federal prison term of 120 months and ordered that he pay criminal restitution in the amount of $5.5 million. Giordano, a securities law recidivist living in Boca Raton, Florida, was convicted after pleading guilty to violations of the federal securities and wire fraud laws in connection with his role in a hedge fund fraud and stock manipulation. One of Giordano's co-conspirators, Joseph Y. Zumwalt, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to violations of the mail fraud laws in connection with his role in the hedge fund fraud and. The SEC filed parallel civil fraud charges against both individuals in the same district court. Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Giordano and Zumwalt consented to final judgments permanently enjoining them from violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and imposing permanent officer and director and penny stock bars.
According to the SEC's allegations, Giordano and Zumwalt's first scheme victimized several investors, including two nonprofit organizations, who lost millions of dollars in a purported hedge fund, EPG Limited Partners, Ltd. Giordano and Zumwalt are allegedly responsible for numerous material misrepresentations and omissions to investors concerning the use of their funds and EPG's purported assets and returns. Giordano and Zumwalt are also alleged to have diverted substantial amounts of investor funds for undisclosed purposes, including personal use. Giordano and Zumwalt's second scheme involved market manipulation of the common stock of Weida Communications, Inc., a publicly-traded company. Giordano and Zumwalt are alleged to have manipulated the market price for Weida common stock to approximately $5 per share, in part to facilitate the sale of Weida stock in private transactions at approximately $3 per share. Hundreds of investors, many elderly and unsophisticated, allegedly paid millions of dollars for Weida common stock at these inflated prices between June 2004 and April 2005. The SEC suspended trading in Weida securities on April 25, 2005.
The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The SEC's investigation is continuing.
See also Litigation Release No. 19525 (January 10, 2006).