Litigation Release No. 22664 / April 1, 2013

Securities and Exchange Commission v. John J. Bravata, et al., Civil Action No. 09-cv-12950 (E.D. Mich.) (Lawson, J.)

Father and Son Found Guilty in Real Estate Investment Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on March 27, 2013, a federal jury in Detroit convicted John J. Bravata on one count of conspiracy and 14 counts of wire fraud, and convicted Bravata's son, Antonio M. Bravata, on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges stemmed from John and Antonio Bravata's role in the fraudulent BBC Equities securities offering, which raised more than $50 million from at least 440 investors by offering them membership interests in a purported real estate investment fund with promised annual returns of 8 to 12 percent. John Bravata's partner in BBC Equities, Richard J. Trabulsy, previously pleaded guilty in the same action.

The criminal charges arose out of the same facts that were the subject of an emergency civil action that the SEC filed against John Bravata, Antonio Bravata, Trabulsy, BBC Equities, and another of John Bravata's companies on July 26, 2009. On July 27, 2009, the Honorable David M. Lawson of the United States District Court for Eastern District of Michigan issued a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against all defendants. On January 31, 2011, Judge Lawson issued a preliminary injunction extending the terms of the TRO and asset freeze.

The SEC's complaint charges John Bravata and Trabulsy with violating Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaint charges BBC Equities with violating Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5. The complaint also charges Antonio Bravata with violating Section 5 of the Securities Act and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The SEC's action was stayed during the parallel criminal case, and remains pending.

For additional information, see Litigation Release No. 21155 (July 28, 2009)