WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission barred four former CDR Financial Products, Inc. employees from participating in the securities markets.
The SEC announced the actions late last week, saying the sanctions were based on the four men’s guilty pleas to criminal changes. CDR was formerly Rubin/Chambers Dunhill Insurance Services Inc.
Zevi Wolmark, Evan Andrew Zarefsky, Matthew Adam Rothman and Daniel Moshe Naeh pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy related to manipulating bidding on municipal bond contacts, but have not yet been sentenced in criminal proceedings pending before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District for New York in Manhattan.
In recent months, they have cooperated with U.S. attorneys prosecuting related bid-rigging cases against executives at UBS AG and affiliates of General Electric Co.
Those cases have resulted in guilty verdicts. Defendants in the GE case are slated to be sentenced in mid-October.
The SEC’s orders prohibit Wolmark, Zarefsky, Rothman and Naeh from associating with a broker, dealer, investment advisor, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent or nationally-recognized statistical rating agency.
Rothman also may not participate in a penny stock offering.
The U.S. Justice Department indicted Rothman and Naeh in 2010 and Zarefsky and Wolmark in 2009, alleging they helped manipulate competitive bidding for muni bond contracts and investment agreements as far back as 1998.
Prosecutors said the men defrauded municipal issuers and the Internal Revenue Service by determining, ahead of time, the winning bidders for municipal bond contracts and the prices that would be paid.
In addition, CDR received kickbacks in the form of inflated fees, prosecutors said.
Calls to lawyers representing the four men, and to lawyers in the SEC’s enforcement division’s municipal securities and public pension unit in Philadelphia, were not returned.
Wolmark, 56, CDR’s former chief financial officer and managing director, and Zarefsky, 38, former vice president, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud in January 2012.
They are set to be sentenced Dec. 14.
Rothman, a 45-year-old former CDR vice president, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy in March 2010. Naeh, 45, pleaded guilty in February 2010 to the same charges.
Naeh’s sentencing is set for May 17, 2013. Rothman’s sentencing date has not been set.
The four men each face a maximum of 35 years in prison and $1.5 million in criminal fines, according the Justice Department.
Wolmark, Zarefsky and former CDR senior vice president Douglas Goldberg testified in the Justice Department’s recent case against Steven Goldberg, Peter Grimm and Dominick Carollo, former executives of a GE affiliate who prosecutors alleged conspired with CDR staffers.
The three were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy in May and are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18.
Rothman, Naeh and others cooperated in the case against Peter Ghavami, Gary Heinz and Michael Welty, former UBS staffers who were found guilty in August for their involvement in muni investment bid-rigging schemes.
Wolmark worked at CDR from 1986 to 2010 and lives in Los Angeles, and Zarefsky joined CDR in 2000 and lives in Redondo Beach, Calif. Rothman, a resident of Los Angeles, worked at CDR from 1997 to 2007, and Naeh, who lives in Israel, worked at the firm from 1991 to 2004.
In late 2011, CDR founder David Rubin pleaded guilty on behalf of himself and the firm to conspiracy and wire fraud.
Rubin is slated to be sentenced on Dec. 14.