Court Enters Final Judgment Against Former Broker for Stealing from Elderly Investors

SEC Investor News

On May 5, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a final judgment against former NJ broker, Joseph Orazio DeGregorio, enjoining him from violating certain provisions of the federal securities law and imposing other remedies.

According to the SEC's complaint, between October 2015 and March 2021, DeGregorio solicited just under $1 million from one 80-year old investor and approximately $205,000 from three additional elderly investors for various fictitious investments. DeGregorio allegedly told investors that their funds would be used to purchase promissory notes guaranteeing a 13% annual return and falsely claimed he would invest the funds in two private companies. According to the complaint, the purported promissory notes never existed, and the funds raised in connection with the note were funneled to a companies owned by DeGregorio, that were created by for the sole purpose of facilitating his fraud and did not carry out any actual business activities. The complaint further alleged that DeGregorio did not use any of the investor money for legitimate investments, but instead misappropriated the vast majority of the funds for personal expenses and gambling.

The SEC's complaint charged DeGregorio with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. On March 18, 2022, the Court entered a bifurcated consent judgment against DeGregorio enjoining him from violating the charged provisions. On May 5, 2023, the Court entered a final judgment against DeGregorio by consent in which he agreed to be permanently enjoined from violations of the charged provisions. He agreed to disgorge $1,084,500 in ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest thereon, the payment of which was deemed satisfied by the restitution and forfeiture orders in the parallel criminal proceeding, United States v. DeGregorio, 22 Cr. 030 (E.D.N.Y.).

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Bennett Ellenbogen and Lindsay Moilanen, with assistance from Elizabeth Baier, and was supervised by Sheldon L. Pollock, of the SEC's New York Regional Office. Mr. Ellenbogen and Ms. Moilanen led the litigation. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Read the original litigation release from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission here.

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