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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked a judge to impose a permanent ban and $578,573 in financial penalties on Carlyle Entertainment Ltd.'s chairman, Sandy Masselli. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC says that he repeatedly lied to investors as he took their money and used it for a car, hotels and other items. The penalties would be by default, as Mr. Masselli has been ignoring the case.
The request from the SEC comes as part of a case in which the regulator accused Mr. Masselli of defrauding investors in Carlyle for years. Among other things, he leased a Mercedes with investor money and spent thousands of dollars on restaurants, high-end hair products and cosmetics, the SEC claims. At one point the SEC claimed that he may have misused millions of dollars in investor money, although it now appears to have scaled that figure back to $199,990.
The SEC's request for sanctions against Mr. Masselli is contained in a motion that the regulator filed on Monday, April 15, in federal court in New Jersey. The motion asks that the judge permanently ban Mr. Masselli from penny stocks and from serving as an officer or director. In seeking the sanctions, the SEC says it is clear that Mr. Masselli intended to defraud investors. "Masselli engaged in a scheme in which he told lies to investors to induce them to send money to accounts he controlled, which he then misappropriated," the motion reads. "Masselli immediately stole the investors' money ... demonstrating that there was never any intention of using their funds for business purposes, as represented."
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