U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
SEC Seal
Home | Previous Page
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 19080 / February 15, 2005

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. TONINO LABELLA, ET AL., Civil Action No. 05-CIV-852 (WGB) (D.N.J.)

SEC CHARGES TONINO LABELLA, JOHN SERUBO, AND OTHERS WITH BROKER KICKBACK FRAUD

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it filed securities fraud charges against Tonino Labella ("Labella"), John Serubo ("Serubo"), and fifteen others for fraudulently selling more than $16.8 million of unregistered Eagletech Communications, Inc. ("Eagletech") and Select Media Communications, Inc. ("Select Media") stock to the investing public from August 1999 to December 2001. Labella and Serubo paid undisclosed kickbacks to registered brokers ("Registered Representatives" or "RRs") and unregistered salespeople who solicited customers of Labella's brokerage firm, Valley Forge Securities, Inc. ("Valley Forge") to purchase Eagletech and Select Media stock.

The Complaint named the following defendants:

  • Labella, age 47, is an Italian citizen who maintains a residence in Pennsylvania and currently resides in Italy. During the relevant time period, Labella owned 75 percent of Valley Forge and acted as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
     
  • Serubo, age 47, is a resident of Florida. Serubo worked with Labella and was present at Valley Forge's Fort Lauderdale, Florida office on a regular basis.
     
  • Robert Montani, Jr. ("Montani"), age 43, is a resident of Pennsylvania. From July 1999 through December 2001, Montani was the principal of, and a compliance officer at, Valley Forge's office in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.
     
  • Michael Walsh ("Walsh"), age 69, is a resident of Pennsylvania. From March 1997 to April 2001, Walsh was the President of Valley Forge. Walsh was also a broker in Valley Forge's Rosemont office.
     
  • James Cavaliere ("Cavaliere"), age 42, is a resident of New York. Cavaliere co-owned Valley Forge's Staten Island office with Ricci and Persico and served as its principal.
     
  • Alexander Ricci ("Ricci"), age 40, is a resident of New York. Ricci co-owned Valley Forge's Staten Island office and worked as a broker there from May 1999 through December 2000.
     
  • Frank Persico ("Persico"), age 41, is a resident of New York. Persico co-owned Valley Forge's Staten Island office.
     
  • Vincent Langella ("Langella"), age 43, is a resident of New York. Langella was a broker in Valley Forge's Staten Island office.
     
  • Michael T. Garbo ("Garbo"), age 26 and a resident of New Jersey, was a broker in Valley Forge's Staten Island office.
     
  • Anthony Bisceglie ("Bisceglie"), age 36 and a resident of New Jersey, worked in Valley Forge's Staten Island office.
     
  • Raffi Oghlian ("Oghlian") age 29 and a resident of New Jersey, worked in Valley Forge's Staten Island office.
     
  • Joseph Ferragamo ("Ferragamo") age 35 and a resident of New York, co-managed with Adam Klein ("Klein") Valley Forge's office on Maiden Lane in New York, New York.
     
  • Klein, age 27 and a resident of New York, co-managed Valley Forge's Maiden Lane office with Ferragamo.
     
  • Joseph Depergola ("Depergola"), age 36, is a resident of New York. Depergola was a broker in Valley Forge's Staten Island office and subsequently the Maiden Lane office.
     
  • Christian C. Nigro ("Nigro"), age 28, is a resident of New York. Nigro was a broker in Valley Forge's Staten Island office and subsequently the Maiden Lane office.
     
  • Daniel Lovaglio ("Lovaglio"), age 39, is a resident of New Jersey. Lovaglio worked in Valley Forge's Staten Island office and subsequently the Maiden Lane office.
     
  • Robert Henricks ("Henricks"), age 29, is a resident of New York. Henricks worked in Valley Forge's Maiden Lane office.
     

The Complaint alleges the following:

In 1999, Labella and Serubo gained control over large blocks of Eagletech and Select Media stock. Labella and Serubo transferred the stock to brokerage accounts at Valley Forge that Labella controlled. Labella and Serubo then took steps to ensure investor demand existed for Eagletech and Select Media stock. For example, Labella and Serubo paid undisclosed kickbacks to RRs and unregistered salespeople who solicited Valley Forge's retail customers to purchase the stock. Labella and Serubo then sold their Eagletech and Select Media stock to the investing public, including Valley Forge's customers, for substantial personal gain. Labella and Serubo recruited and paid kickbacks to RRs and unregistered salespeople. For example:

  • Montani and Walsh, RRs at Valley Forge's Rosemont, Pennsylvania office, solicited their customers to purchase Eagletech and Select Media stock in exchange for kickbacks of approximately 25% to 40% of the sales price of the stock that they did not disclose to their customers.
     
  • Cavaliere, Ricci, and Persico, who owned Valley Forge's Staten Island, New York office, entered into an arrangement with Labella to solicit their customers to purchase Eagletech and Select Media stock in exchange for kickbacks of approximately 23% to 50% of the sale price of the stock. Cavaliere, Ricci, and Persico did not disclose, and did not direct their salesforce, including Langella, Garbo, Bisceglie, and Oghlian, to disclose, that they received kickbacks for soliciting their customers to purchase Eagletech and Select Media stock.
     
  • Klein and Ferragamo, who owned Valley Forge's Maiden Lane office in New York, New York, received kickbacks of approximately 23% to 50% of the sale price of the stock for soliciting their customers to purchase Select Media stock. They did not disclose, and did not direct their salesforce, including Depergola, Nigro, Lovaglio and Henricks, to disclose, that they received kickbacks for soliciting their customers to purchase Select Media stock.
     
  • As a result of this fraudulent scheme, from August 1999 through December 2001, Labella and Serubo profited by more than $16.8 million from their sale of Eagletech and Select Media stock.

    The Commission charged all the defendants with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5, thereunder. In addition, the Commission charged Bisceglie, Oghlian, Lovaglio, and Henricks with violations of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act, and Labella and Serubo with violations of Section 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act. The Commission seeks the following relief from the defendants: (a) permanent injunctions; (b) an order prohibiting the defendants from participating in a penny stock offering; (c) disgorgement of all illicit profits; and (d) civil penalties. The Commission filed its complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

    The Commission expresses its appreciation to the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.

    SEC Complaint in this matter


    http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr19080.htm


    Modified: 02/15/2005