SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Investment Adviser's Assistant

Litigation Release No. 24192 / July 10, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Tarek D. Bahgat, Lauramarie Colangelo, and WealthCFO LLC, No. 17-cv-0971-LJV (W.D.N.Y. filed Sept. 28, 2017)

A federal district court in the Western District of New York entered a final judgment against Amherst, New York resident Lauramarie Colangelo, formerly an assistant to investment adviser Tarek D. Bahgat.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Bahgat misappropriated money from seven of his investment advisory clients, in some instances through WealthCFO LLC, a company Bahgat controlled. The SEC also alleges that Colangelo, WealthCFO's operations manager, impersonated one of Bahgat's clients during a telephone call with a broker-dealer holding the client's account and thereby obtained internet access to that account. This enabled Bahgat to cause money to be transferred from the client's account to Bahgat and WealthCFO. The SEC's complaint charges Bahgat with violating Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) and Colangelo with aiding and abetting certain of Bahgat's violations. The complaint sought permanent injunctions and civil penalties from Colangelo.

Upon the SEC's motion, on June 8, 2018, the Court imposed a civil penalty of $7,500 against Colangelo pursuant to Section 209(e) of the Advisers Act, to be paid in monthly $100 installments. Previously, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Colangelo consented to the entry of a judgment entered on April 5, 2018, which enjoined Colangelo from violating Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act and ordered that Colangelo pay a civil penalty with the amount to be determined by the Court upon motion by the SEC.

Litigation is continuing as to the SEC's claims against the remaining defendants in the case.

For further information, see Litigation Release No. 23951 (Sept. 29, 2017).