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NY Brokerage Charged With Fraud Over High Commissions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against a New York-based brokerage firm and two brokers who allegedly used misleading sales tactics to steer investors toward risky investments in a purported clean energy company so the firm could earn lucrative commissions.

The SEC alleges that Gregg Lorenzo, the founder of Charles Vista LLC, and banker Frank Lorenzo, made false, misleading, and unfounded statements to create the impression that securities issued by Waste2Energy Holdings Inc., were risk-free. Eventually, Waste2Energy filed for bankruptcy.

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that Gregg Lorenzo made verbal sales pitches to investors that misrepresented Waste2Energy’s financial condition and business prospects. Frank Lorenzo was the head of investment banking at Charles Vista until he left the firm in 2010. He sent e-mails to Charles Vista customers that had false or misleading information about Waste2Energy’s assets and alleged contracts.

Charles Vista was the placement agent for Waste2Energy securities. Allegedly, Charles Vista had arranged to receive a 10 percent commission on the gross proceeds of all debentures sales, a consulting fee of $10,000 per month for 12 months, and other commissions and fees.

Call Soreide Law Group for a free consultation with an attorney: 888-760-6552.

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