U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23115 / October 17, 2014
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Dennis F. Wright, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-01896-SHR (M.D. Pa)
Final Judgment and Administrative Order Entered Against Pennsylvania-Based Registered Representative Who Stole Funds from Customers
The Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Commission") announced today that on October 9, 2014, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered a final judgment by consent in a previously filed enforcement action against defendant Dennis F. Wright, a former registered representative based in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. The final judgment permanently enjoins Wright from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Wright is also ordered to disgorge his ill-gotten gains of $1,533,416.33 and prejudgment interest thereon of $490,618.77, which will be deemed satisfied by the entry of an order of restitution in a parallel criminal case.
According to the Commission's complaint filed on September 30, 2014, Wright misappropriated more than $1.5 million from at least 28 customers. Wright fraudulently induced his customers to redeem securities held in their securities accounts, including variable annuities and mutual funds, by falsely representing that he would invest the proceeds from the redemptions in a managed account that held other securities that yielded higher returns than their existing securities accounts. Instead, Wright deposited his customers' funds in a bank account he controlled and from which he misappropriated the funds in order to pay his personal expenses as well as to fund customer withdrawals. Wright concealed his fraud by providing his customers with falsified account statements purportedly showing that they had purchased and owned interests in the non-existent managed accounts with appreciating balances.
On October 16, 2014, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities and Exchange Act and Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (""Order") against Wright. The Order permanently bars Wright from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization; and also bars him from participating in any offering of a penny stock. Wright consented to the issuance of the Order.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Kingdon Kase, Paulina L. Jerez, and Dustin Ruta of the Philadelphia Regional Office. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this matter.