Securities and Exchange Commission v. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Frederick J. O’Meally et al., Civil Action No. 06-CV-6483-LTS (S.D.N.Y.)

Court Orders Former Prudential Securities Broker to Pay Over $763,000 Related to Deceptive Mutual Fund Market Timing Practices

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that on March 12, 2013, a federal court in New York entered final judgment against Frederick J. O’Meally, the sole remaining defendant in a fraud action filed by the Commission on August 28, 2006. The Commission alleged that he used deceptive practices to evade blocks by mutual fund companies on his market timing trading. In issuing the final judgment, the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, ordered O’Meally to pay over $763,000 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.

On December 14, 2011, a federal jury returned a verdict in the Commission’s favor on securities fraud charges against O’Meally, a resident of Bay Shore, New York. O’Meally is a former registered representative of broker-dealer Prudential Securities Inc. The jury found O’Meally liable for violations of Sections 17(a)(2) and/or (3) of the Securities Act of 1933. The verdict against O’Meally followed a month-long trial in Manhattan before the Honorable Judge Swain.

The Commission filed its Complaint on August 28, 2006 against four registered representatives formerly employed by Prudential Securities, Inc. The Complaint alleged that, between 2001 and 2003, certain mutual fund companies detected market timing activity by the defendants and attempted to block the defendants and their hedge fund customers from further trading in their funds. The Complaint further alleged that the defendants used fraudulent and deceptive trading practices to conceal their and their customers’ identities to evade these blocks. Cases against the three other defendants had been resolved previously by settlement. In its final judgment against O’Meally, the court ordered him to pay $444,836 in disgorgement of his profits from illegal market timing transactions plus $258,401.55 in prejudgment interest and a civil penalty of $60,000, for a total of $763,237.55.

The Commission also brought related enforcement actions against several other parties associated with Prudential Securities concerning deceptive market timing activities, as well as a settled enforcement action against Prudential Securities itself on August 28, 2006, in which Prudential agreed to pay $270 million that was later distributed to harmed investors.

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