The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that the subject of an enforcement inquiry in Florida has has been criminally charged for obstructing justice and lying to SEC investigators looking into his real estate securities offerings to investors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida has filed criminal charges against former broker and securities fraud recidivist Robert J. Vitale, who lives in Lauderdale-by-the Sea. According to the criminal information filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the SEC issued subpoenas to Vitale and his investment company Realty Acquisitions & Trust in order to identify investor funds and assets related to the securities offerings. The SEC investigators subpoenaed Vitale for all related bank records and took his sworn testimony.

The criminal information alleges that Vitale lied about the existence of two separate bank accounts that he did not disclose to the SEC. Specifically, Vitale deposited $100,000 into a bank account in Fort Lauderdale under the name of “B.L. Inc.” in the days preceding his testimony to SEC investigators in June 2012. Vitale then did not disclose the existence of the account to the SEC when asked under oath.

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