SEC Charges Unregistered Broker Who Sold Retail Investors Securities in Fraudulent Scheme
Litigation Release No. 24535 /July 17, 2019
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Emmanuel Kouyoumdjian (a/k/a "Manny K"), No. 19-cv-61773 (S.D. Fla. filed July 16, 2019)
The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday announced charges against Emmanuel "Manny K" Kouyoumdjian of Coral Springs, Florida, for unlawfully offering and selling the securities of ForceField Energy, Inc. ("ForceField"). The SEC previously charged ForceField's then-Chairman, Richard St. Julien, and nine others for their roles in multiple schemes to defraud retail investors in ForceField Energy, Inc. One of those schemes involved ForceField's use of unregistered brokers to sell its securities in an unregistered offering, in exchange for undisclosed commissions.
According to the SEC's complaint, Kouyoumdjian solicited potential investors in ForceField, touted investments in ForceField, and negotiated and closed sales of ForceField stock. The complaint alleges that Kouyoumdjian successfully raised over $275,000 for ForceField and received over $27,000 in commissions to compensate him for these actions. As further alleged, Kouyoumdjian was previously employed as a registered stockbroker, but was barred from working as a registered stockbroker at the time that he solicited investors for ForceField.
The SEC's complaint charges Kouyoumdjian with violations of the securities registration provisions of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933, and the broker-dealer registration provisions of Section 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In its complaint, the SEC seeks court-ordered injunctions, the return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and financial penalties against Kouyoumdjian.
The SEC's investigation has been conducted by John O. Enright, Ann Marie Preissler, and Sheldon L. Pollock in the SEC's New York office. The litigation will be led by Mr. Enright. The case is being supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).