SEC Charges Scheme Victimizing New Jersey Jewish Community

Litigation Release No. 24694/December 18, 2019

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Sam A. Antar, No. 1:19-cv-11527 (S.D.N.Y. filed December 17, 2019)

On December 17, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Sam A. Antar for defrauding investors, many of whom were his friends and acquaintances in a Syrian Jewish community in New Jersey.

The SEC alleges that Antar, of New York, New York, engaged in a fraudulent scheme that deceived numerous investors out of at least $550,000 while claiming he would invest in shares of companies that were not yet public. The complaint alleges that Antar told investors that he would use their funds to buy shares in emerging companies whose stock had not yet begun to trade publicly, and then sell those shares to already-identified buyers for a premium in a short period of time. Antar issued promissory notes or other agreements to investors to invest their money and return a profit to them from the purported gains on the stock transactions. In reality, the complaint alleges, Antar never used investor funds to purchase shares of emerging companies, or to make any other investment. Instead, Antar spent investor funds gambling, making gifts to family members, paying for his daughter's wedding, and making Ponzi-like payments to some early investors.

In a parallel action, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Division of Criminal Justice also announced criminal charges against Antar.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in New York, charges Antar with 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. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.

The SEC appreciates the assistance of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Division of Criminal Justice.