U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18603 / March 1, 2004
SEC v. Ace Payday Plus, LLC, et. al., Civil Action No. 02-20858-CIV-MARRA
SEC OBTAINS PERMANENT INJUNCTION AND OTHER RELIEF AGAINST PAYDAY LENDER AND OTHERS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that on February 10, 2004, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered Final Judgments of Permanent Injunction and Other Relief ("Final Judgments") against James Bianco ("Bianco"), Ace Payday Plus, LLC (doing business as) Ace Payday Plus II, LLC, Ace Payday Management, Inc. and Ace Management, LLC (collectively "Ace Payday"). The Final Judgments enjoin Bianco and Ace Payday from violations of Section 5(a), (c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77e(a), 77e(c) and 77q(a), and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5. The Final Judgment against Bianco and Ace Payday orders them to pay disgorgement in the amount of $1,593,800, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $248,322.64. The Final Judgment against Bianco also orders him to pay a civil penalty of $619,017. The Court also entered a Final Judgment against Relief Defendant Rosalind Portman Bianco ("R. Bianco") ordering her to pay disgorgement in the amount of $125,106.00, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $4,657.39.
The SEC commenced this action by filing its Complaint on March 19, 2002 against Ace Payday and Bianco alleging that Ace Payday and Bianco fraudulently offered and sold unregistered securities in the form of "LLC units." Specifically, the complaint alleged that Ace Payday and Bianco conducted the unregistered offering through unregistered broker-dealers operating as telemarketers, and made a number of major material misrepresentations and omissions in the offering materials concerning the use of investor proceeds, and the rates of return on the investment. Subsequently, the SEC amended its Complaint adding R. Bianco as a Relief Defendant alleging that she unlawfully received Ace Payday investor proceeds.
Complaint alleged that, through this unregistered offering, Bianco and Ace Payday raised over $1.9 million from 85 investors. In turn, Defendant Bianco misappropriated the majority of investor funds that he raised through Ace Payday for his and his wife Relief Defendant R. Bianco's personal benefit. The SEC has already frozen over $286,000 worth of investor funds, which are currently under the control of the Court appointed receiver. The receiver continues to marshal the assets of Ace Payday, Bianco and R. Bianco, and is in the process of formulating a plan of distribution to return funds to Ace Payday investors.
See also Litigation Release No. 17422 (March 19, 2002).