U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17506 / May 7, 2002
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. SEBASTIAN CORRIERE et al., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Tampa Division), Civil Action No. 8:02-CV-666-T17EAJ (M.D. Fla April 18, 2002)
SEBASTIAN CORRIERE ORDERED TO STOP SOLICITING INVESTORS FOR FICITIOUS TRADING PROGRAMS
On April 18, 2002, the Commission obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, temporarily barring Sebastian Corriere (Corriere) from soliciting investors for fictitious trading programs. The TRO also froze Corriere's assets, as well as those of the relief defendants, Maria Rosa Corriere, Quantum Equities, Inc. and The Kings Fellowship, Inc., whom the Commission alleged received proceeds from the fraud.
The Commission's complaint alleged that Corriere, age 64, a resident of Clearwater, Florida, raised almost $3 million from investors located across the country. The Complaint alleged that Corriere offered participation interests in fictitious prime bank trading programs involving medium term notes or MTNs. Corriere promised investors a return of 100 percent per week, guaranteed investors that they could not lose their initial investment, and told investors that these trading programs were risk-free and safe. According to the Commission's complaint, these trading programs do not exist, investors never received the returns promised, and most investors lost their initial investment. In addition, the complaint alleged that Corriere diverted some investor funds for personal use. The Complaint alleged that, by this conduct, Corriere violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 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 action is ongoing.
This case is part of the Commission's continuing effort to combat prime bank fraud and to alert the public to the risks posed by these phony investments. The risk of this type of fraud and warnings about how to avoid it are spelled out in the Interagency Advisory: Warning Concerning "Prime Bank" Notes, Guarantees, and Letters of Credit and Similar Financial Instruments (October 21, 1993), which is discussed on the Commission's Homepage at http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/primebank.shtml.