Broker Settles SEC Charges He Defrauded Elderly Nuns

Broker Paul Chironis has agreed to settle charges that he defrauded the Sisters of Charity. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing the broker of churning of millions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities in the congregation of elderly nuns’ two accounts. One account supports the nuns’ charitable efforts. The other helps take care of nuns living in nursing homes.

The SEC says that Chironis defrauded the nuns between January 2007 and January 2008. The accounts that he allegedly churned held mostly mortgage-backed securities that Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Ginnie Mae had issued, as well as closed-end bonds. The SEC contends that the broker charged the nuns’ account undisclosed and excessive markups and markdowns in riskless principal transactions.

The federal agency says that Chironis’s actions violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. By agreeing to settle, Chironis is not admitting to or denying the charges. He has, however, consented to a permanent bar from the securities industry. He also has agreed to disgorge $250,000 in illegal gains and pay a $100,000 civil penalty. The money, which will be put in a Fair Fund, will be distributed to the congregation of nuns.

Churning is an act of securities fraud that involves a broker making excessive trades to make commissions and other revenue regardless of whether such transactions fulfills the clients’ investment objectives. Our securities fraud lawyers can help you determine whether you were a victim of churning.

Related Web Resources:
SEC Settles With Broker for Allegedly Defrauding Bronx Nuns, Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2011
Broker Accused of Defrauding Elderly Nuns Settles Case With SEC, SEC, January 6, 2011
Read the SEC Litigation (PDF)

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