U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20991 / April 7, 2009
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Finbar Securities Corp., et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. CV 09-2325 ODW (Apr. 3, 2009)
SEC SHUTS DOWN UNREGISTERED BROKER-DEALER IN EMERGENCY ACTION
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has halted the fraudulent conduct of an unregistered West Covina, California broker-dealer and its president Robert Tringham.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Tringham and his broker-dealer, Finbar Securities Corp., fraudulently raised at least $6.4 million from investors in the U.S. and abroad, and falsely represented that Finbar was "a licensed Securities Dealer." The complaint further alleges that Finbar provided false account statements to an investor as recently as March 13 that displayed the National Association of Securities Dealers' logo, despite the fact that the use of the NASD name ceased in July 2007, and cited to non-existent CUSIP numbers purportedly representing the investor's securities holdings. The complaint alleges that Finbar has not been registered with the Commission and that Tringham has not been associated with any registered broker or dealer.
According to the complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Tringham, a United Kingdom national who resides in Diamond Bar, California, and Portland, Oregon, has operated Finbar since at least 2006. The complaint alleges that as part of his scheme, Tringham appropriated the identity of a now defunct Oregon corporation, also called Finbar, that was registered with the Commission as a broker-dealer from 1987 to 2006, and which Tringham had unsuccessfully attempted to purchase. The complaint alleges Tringham told investors Finbar sold debt instruments and high yield risk-free investment opportunities.
On April 3, the Commission obtained an order freezing the assets of Finbar and Tringham, appointing a temporary receiver over Finbar, requiring accountings, prohibiting the destruction of documents, granting expedited discovery, and temporarily enjoining Finbar and Tringham from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and (2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. A hearing on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the defendants is scheduled for April 13. The Commission also seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, and civil penalties against Tringham and Finbar.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the California Department of Justice in the investigation of this matter.