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Washington D.C. and Baltimore

Fraud in the Nation’s Capital

Our nation’s capital is also the home of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which holds primary responsibility for enforcement of the United States’ securities laws and regulating the securities industry. Unfortunately, this does not mean that investors in these cities and the surrounding suburbs cannot be the victims of fraud.

Recently, it was reported that a Maryland resident, Garfield M. Taylor, was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay over $28.6 million in restitution for operating a Ponzi scheme that resulted in investors losing money they invested with trust. In another instance, a Ponzi scheme was reported in the Baltimore area where a man was charged with five counts of mail fraud for bilking his victims out of their retirement savings and home equity.

In September of 2019, the prior CEO and Director of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, and Greg Kelly allegedly settled charges of fraud and false financial disclosures with the SEC. This apparent fraud was a scheme in the making for over 10 years, when the Nissan Board reportedly allowed Ghosn to determine who managed compensation at the company. This resulted in an alleged fraudulent concealment of over $90 million dollars in compensation, as well as allocation of $50 million dollars more than estimated towards Ghosn’s retirement fund. Allegedly falsifying multiple documents, deceiving the CFO and other deceptive disclosures resulted in a charge of violating the Securities Exchange Act. The case and charges were reportedly settled by Nissan, Ghosn, and Kelly, respectively. Nissan apparently agreed to a $15 million dollar civil penalty for settlement of the charges, as well as restitution of any profits from the schemes that violated securities laws. Ghosn was reportedly ordered to pay $1 million dollars in civil penalties, as well as lost privileges to the $140 million dollars accrued into his retirement fund. Kelly apparently settled his penalties with $100,000 and faced a 5 year pause on practicing as an attorney.

In September 2019, Kevin Merrill, Jay Ledford, and Cameron Jezierski apparently faced repercussions for allegedly duping over 230 investors into a fraud, fabricating information as to where their money would be financed. These three have reportedly pleaded guilty to using this money to fund personal luxuries. The District of Maryland as well as the SEC apparently charged Merrill, Ledford and Jezierski with violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The defendants reportedly agreed to settlements that prohibit them from any future fraud and hold them liable to a hefty civil penalty.

In relation to the scheme concocted by Merrill, Ledford and Jezierski, there also became reason for the SEC to pursue Michael Staisill’s as an accomplice because he worked on behalf of Kevin Merrill in 2019 for the $345,000,000 scheme based in Baltimore, Maryland. A native New Yorker, Michael Stasil had reportedly been subpoenaed by the SEC after failing to be present for various testimony hearings. It is alleged that Stassill assisted Merrill, Ledford and Jezierski to find investors for the scheme that defrauded over 230 investors for personal gain. The Securities Exchange Commission is apparently looking into the extent of unlawful conduct of Michael Staisill through a thorough investigation.

In 2012, the CEO of Advanced Medical Optics Inc.(AMO), James Mazzo, was in hot water for insider trading with a close friend Douglas V. DeCinces who is a professional baseball player that represented teams including the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals. For about 4 years, James Mazzo was reportedly responsible for revealing information about confidential details regarding AMO and Abbott Industries. This allegedly resulted in DeCinces purchasing securities attributed to AMO, around the same time that Abbott Industries was looking into acquiring it. As the merger details developed, DeCinces supposedly hinted, to a few of his colleagues, insider information which reportedly gave DeCinces and his teammates a profit of $1.3 million and $1 million dollars, respectively. James Mazzo was reportedly ordered to pay civil penalties upwards of a million dollars and DeCinces settled claims against him as well. These settlements still need to receive final approval by the court.

Even in the nation’s capital and birthplace of our country’s national anthem, fraud is inevitable. Misleading schemes on both sides of the law need to be represented by professionals that understand the complexities of securities law. The Securities Fraud lawyers of Malecki Law handle a wide variety of securities cases, including whistleblowers, unsuitability claims, defective securities products, regulatory matters, investigations, contract negotiations and regulatory proceedings just to name a few.

Jenice Malecki uses her extensive understanding as a NY whistleblower lawyer, New York securities arbitration attorney, and a New York securities fraud litigation to ensure favorable results for her clients.

To schedule a free initial consultation with Malecki Law, please call (212) 943-1233, or email jenice@maleckilaw.com

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Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jenice Malecki, is one of the most helpful individuals Ive had the pleasure of speaking with. She is super knowledgeable. She helped me navigate the ever changing world of securities law. You will find her understanding of complex matters helpful and insightful. She is straightforward and candid. She makes your options easy to understand. I would recommend her without any hesitation. 10/5 stars! Enrique Tiburcio
★★★★★
I highly recommend Jenice and her team for any securities matters. She is a true professional and a pleasure to work with. She responds quickly to emails and listens to your concerns/questions. Jenice makes sure you're always informed and in the know about your case. Great experience and also very fairly priced! Jeff
★★★★★
An excellent professional who represented us in trial regarding a bank fraud, an unexpected and difficult time. A professional that worked hard, persevering and who stood toe to toe against firms that had a team of excellent lawyers backing them up. Her unflinching determination really stands out, it makes you feel you have someone who really cares about trying to recover what you lost from the people that wronged you. Salomon Levi
★★★★★
It is difficult to thank you in words when gratitude comes from the heart, so I will try to link feelings with writing. It is essential for us to mention your excellence as a professional, your aptitude on legal fields, and your unavoidable persistence. All of these virtues that elevate the profession you exercise in such an admirable way, go hand in hand with your sense of ethics, your human warmth and the transparency in your actions. To sum up, thank you for being a listening ear and for having the right word while transmitting information about the legal process. Having you as our representative during such an adverse situation was a privilege and enough reason for our eternal gratitude. Angeles Aparain
★★★★★
To say that my securities litigation was complex would be a severe understatement. With multiple parties involved and spanning many years, trying to understand the issues was daunting to say the least. Jenice and her team broke down the transactions by segment and by party uncovering every hidden expense. In the end, I was more than happy and could not thank Jenice and her team enough. I would not hesitate to recommend Jenice to anyone. She is highly professional, incredibly knowledgeable, well connected to industry experts, has a tireless work ethic and is so pleasant and easy to communicate with. Five stars for sure! Andrew Loughrane