Bloomberg News

SEC Reaches Deal ‘in Principle’ in Bogus Stock-Opinion Case

February 15, 2012

(Updates with details of allegations in third paragraph.)

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said a framework for a settlement has been made with a New York lawyer who was accused of writing bogus letters for stock promoters.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan said that because of the SEC’s “settlement in principle” with Stephen Czarnik, a trial set for March has been postponed, according to a court filing today.

The SEC sued Czarnik in 2010, alleging that the opinion letters he wrote for the stock promoters made it seem as if share offerings were exempt from registration requirements. The agency said Czarnik knew or should have known that the promoters intended to distribute the stock to the public.

Approval by the SEC of the settlement may be completed within three months, Jonathan Polish, a lawyer for the agency, said in a letter to the judge dated yesterday.

The case is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Czarnik, 10-cv-00745, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--Editor: Michael Hytha

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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