Court Sentences Florida Resident to Prison and Orders Payment of Over $3 Million in Market Manipulation Scheme

Litigation Release No. 24664 / November 12, 2019

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Gregory M. Bercowy, Civil Action No. 8:18cv792-T26-CPT (M.D. Fla. filed April 3, 2018)

United States v. Gregory M. Bercowy, 1:19-CR-10047-01-DJC (D. Mass filed February 6, 2019)

On October 23, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts sentenced St. Petersburg, Florida resident Gregory M. Bercowy in a criminal action brought by the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts in February 2019 charging securities fraud. In a parallel civil action arising from similar facts, the Securities and Exchange Commission had charged Bercowy in April 2018 with manipulating the stock price of Aureus, Inc., a penny stock company incorporated in Nevada.

In the criminal matter, the court sentenced Bercowy to seventeen months imprisonment and one year of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $3,334,009 in restitution.  Bercowy had pled guilty on March 27, 2019 to the charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

In the SEC's civil action, on May 22, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered a judgment by default against Bercowy that enjoined Bercowy from future violations of anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions of the federal securities laws, ordered Bercowy to pay a civil penalty of $507,513, and permanently bars him from participating in an offering of a penny stock. On May 29, 2019, the Commission barred Bercowy from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization.