SEC Announces Settlement in Fraud Case Against Cornelius Peterson
On January 31, 2018, the Commission filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts charging Cornelius Peterson and his former colleague, James Polese, with securities fraud for engaging in various schemes to defraud their clients, including fraudulently misappropriating $350,000 of their client’s money, using $100,000 of those funds to make investments in their own names, and directing the remaining $250,000 to James Polese’s personal bank account and investing $100,000 of another client’s funds into an investment in which Cornelius Peterson and James Polese held a financial interest, without informing the client or disclosing their conflict of interest.
The Court has now entered a final judgment against Cornelius Peterson based upon his consent to resolve all claims. Peterson agreed to disgorge $57,300 in ill-gotten gains and pay prejudgment interest of $5,261. In addition to ordering this monetary relief, the final judgment charges Cornelius Peterson from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as well as aiding and abetting any investment advisers’ violations of the books and records provisions of Section 204 of the Investment Advisers Act and Rule 204-2. The monetary judgment will be deemed satisfied by the $107,300 Cornelius Peterson paid in restitution in connection with a parallel criminal action brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, in which Cornelius Peterson pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, and bank fraud, and was also sentenced to twenty months imprisonment. The Commission has also entered an order barring Cornelius Peterson from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, and from participating in any offering of a penny stock.
Hamilton & Associates Law Group, P.A provides ongoing corporate and securities counsel to private companies and public companies listed and publicly traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ Stock Market, the NYSE MKT and OTC Markets. For two decades the Firm has served private and public companies and other market participants in SEC reporting requirements, corporate law matters, securities law and going public matters. The firm’s practice areas include, but are not limited to, forensic law and investigations, SEC investigations and SEC defense, corporate law matters, compliance with the Securities Act of 1933 securities offer and sale and registration statement requirements, including Regulation A/ Regulation A+ , private placement offerings under Regulation D including Rule 504 and Rule 506 and Regulation S and PIPE Transactions as well as registration statements on Forms S-1, Form F-1, Form S-8 and Form S-4; compliance with the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including Form 8-A and Form 10 registration statements, reporting on Forms 10-Q, Form 10-K and Form 8-K, Form 6-K and SEC Schedule 14C Information and SEC Schedule 14A Proxy Statements; Regulation A / Regulation A+ offerings; all forms of going public transactions; mergers and acquisitions; applications to and compliance with the corporate governance requirements of national securities exchanges including NASDAQ and NYSE MKT and foreign listings; crowdfunding; corporate; and general contract and business transactions. The firm provides preparation of corporate documents and other transaction documents such as share purchase and exchange agreements, stock purchase agreements, asset purchase agreements and reorganization agreements. The firm prepares the necessary documentation and assists in completing the requirements of federal and state securities laws such as FINRA and DTC for Rule 15c2-11 / Form 211 trading applications, corporate name changes, reverse and forward splits, changes of domicile and other transactions. The firm represents clients in London, Dubai, India, Germany, India, France, Israel, Canada and throughout the U.S