U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20215 / July 26, 2007
SEC v. Ragone and New York Partnership Exchange, Inc., Civil Action Number 8:07-cv-816 (M.D. Fla., filed May 11, 2007)
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced the filing on May 11, 2007, of a complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Angelo Ragone, and his wholly-owned firm, New York Partnership Exchange, Inc. The Commission's complaint alleges that from 1989 through August 31, 2006, New York Asset Exchange, through Ragone, illegally operated as an unregistered broker-dealer by trading millions of dollars in limited partnership interests for its own account and the accounts of others in exchange for transaction based compensation. New York Partnership Exchange advertised its broker-dealer services and solicited customers through a website and various print advertisements.
Moreover, the complaint alleges that from 1999 through August 2006, the defendants defrauded customers of their trading proceeds by misrepresenting that their trades were delayed and by improperly withholding portions of payments due sellers. According to the complaint, Ragone and New York Partnership Exchange employees at Ragone's instruction routinely delayed payments due sellers by falsely telling them that the firm had not yet located a buyer, or that the paperwork had not yet been completed, or that the general partner had not yet processed the transfer. The complaint also alleges the defendants often paid sellers less than they originally agreed to by wrongfully withholding amounts on false pretenses.
Based on this conduct, the Commission alleged that New York Partnership Exchange and Ragone violated Sections 10(b) and 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 there under, and Sections 17(a)(1), (2), and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933. Without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations, Ragone and New York Partnership Exchange consented to the entry of final judgments that permanently enjoin them from future violations of the above-mentioned provisions of the federal securities laws. The defendants have also agreed to disgorge, jointly and severally with each other, their ill-gotten gains of $24,120 plus prejudgment interest of $5,510.67, and to each pay individually a civil penalty in the amount of $35,000 for a total of $70,000.