SEC bars New Jersey RIA over securities, adviser fraud

Larry Werbel had pleaded guilty to receiving kickbacks for touting stock

Jun 11, 2018 @ 2:07 pm

By InvestmentNews

The Securities and Exchange Commission has barred New Jersey adviser Larry Werbel, who in September 2017 pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of investment adviser fraud.

Mr. Werbel, a resident of Milburn, N.J., owns and operates Evolution Partners Wealth Management, an investment adviser that was registered from 2011 through 2015.

In connection with his plea, Mr. Werbel, admitted that as a registered investment adviser with an office in Cleveland, Ohio, from 2011 through 2014, he introduced his clients to VGTel Inc., which he described as an "investment opportunity." He admitted that he "willfully failed to tell these clients that he was being compensated to recommend the purchase of VGTel securities … through an agreement with Ed Durante, a codefendant in the case."

Mr. Werbel also failed to inform clients that New Market Enterprises, the entity to which he directed his clients to send their money for the purchase of VGTel securities, was run and controlled by Mr. Durante, who Mr. Werbel knew at the time was a convicted felon.

(More: Brokers must pay clients $845,000 arbitration award)

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