U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22246 / January 31, 2012
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. CHRISTOPHER T. VULLIEZ, ET AL. Civil Action No. 11-cv-3458 (RMB) (S.D.N.Y.)
SEC OBTAINS FINAL JUDGMENTS AGAINST INVESTMENT ADVISER CHRISTOPHER T. VULLIEZ AND AMPHOR ADVISORS, LLC
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on January 30, 2012 the Honorable Richard M. Berman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment against defendants Christopher T. Vulliez and Amphor Advisors, LLC. The final judgment imposes a permanent injunction against future violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and orders defendants to pay disgorgement.
The Commission’s Complaint alleged that, between March 2010 and January 2011, Vulliez and Amphor misappropriated at least $700,000 from his closest family and friends. According to the complaint, Vulliez made false and misleading statements to his clients that he would invest their funds in a biotech company. Instead, he and Amphor misappropriated the funds. The Complaint charged Vulliez and Amphor with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder.
The final judgment permanently enjoins defendants Vulliez and Amphor from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 206(4) of the Advisers Act and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder. In addition, the final judgment orders defendants to pay disgorgement, on a joint and several basis, of $820,500. Defendants consented to the entry of the final judgment.
In a related criminal action, on December 7, 2011, Vulliez pled guilty to, inter alia, one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree in violation of Penal Law §190.65(1)(b) and ten counts of Securities Fraud in violation of General Business Law § 352-C(6), before the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York in The People of the State of New York v. Christopher T. Vulliez, Superior Court Information No. 5556/2011, Docket No. 2011NY087021. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Vulliez will receive a sentence of six months incarceration followed by five years of probation and be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,176,755.48.
Earlier, on August 20, 2011, the Commission filed an Amended Complaint to name Sophie Pachella and EatStrong, LLC as relief defendants. The Amended Complaint alleged that Vulliez diverted a portion of the investor funds that he had misappropriated to EatStrong and Pachella. On August 31, 2011, Judge Berman entered a final judgment that ordered EatStrong and Pachella to pay disgorgement, on a joint and several basis, of $375,000. EatStrong and Pachella consented to the entry of the final judgment.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance provided by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
For further information, see Litigation Release No. 21975 (May 23, 2011).