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Litigation Release No. 16906 \ February 22, 2001

United States v. Robin McEachin 4:00-CR-60-RH

SEC Defendant Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud And Money Laundering

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced that on January 19, 2001, Robin McEachin, former president of Meridian Asset Management, Inc. ("Meridian"), a broker dealer and investment advisory firm based in Tallahassee, Florida, pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tallahassee, Florida. The SEC had previously brought settled civil injunctive and administrative proceedings against McEachin.

The SEC filed its complaint against Meridian and McEachin on July 26, 2000. Among other things, the SEC alleged in its complaint that from at least 1998 through the date of the complaint, McEachin misappropriated at least $1 million, in large part pension funds, which his customers entrusted to him for investment on their behalf. To conceal his theft, McEachin created fictitious Meridian account statements. The SEC also alleged in its complaint that Meridian failed to maintain the minimum net capital required by law, and that it failed, or was in danger of failing, to meet its obligations to its customers.

On August 1, 2000, the Honorable Robert L. Hinkle, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, entered an order of permanent injunction ("Order"), by consent, against Meridian and McEachin. In its Order, the Court enjoined Meridian and McEachin from future violations of the antifraud and net capital provisions of the federal securities laws. Specifically, the Order enjoins Meridian and McEachin from violating Sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2), and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Court further enjoined Meridian from violations of Section 15(c)(3) of the Exchange Act and Rule 15c3-1 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 ("Advisers Act"), and enjoined McEachin from aiding and abetting violations of Section 15(c)(3) of the Exchange Act and Rule 15c3-1 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act.

Following entry of the permanent injunction, the SEC instituted and simultaneously settled public administrative proceedings against McEachin, pursuant to which, the SEC barred McEachin from association with any broker, dealer, or investment adviser.

For additional information about the SEC's federal court action, see Litigation Release No. 16638. For additional information about the SEC's settled administrative proceeding against McEachin, see Exchange Act Release No. 43722 (December 13, 2000)., and Advisers Act Release No. 1914 (December 13, 2000).