In the Matter of Ziad K. Abdelnour

The Commission today issued an Order Instituting Administrative and Cease-and-Desist Proceedings Pursuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 15(b) and 21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Section 9(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions and a Cease-and-Desist Order (Order) against Ziad K. Abdelnour based on Abdelnour’s scheme to offer and sell fictitious “prime bank” securities.

The Order finds that from at least September 2009 to April 2011, Abdelnour, acting through Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a purported private equity “family office,” solicited investors to invest in trading programs that purportedly yielded returns of up to 600% in as little as seven days, with no risk. None of this was true, however. Abdelnour, a long-time registered representative with an MBA from one of the top business schools, attempted to sell the programs by means of representations on Blackhawk’s website and in emails to prospective investors that he knew, or was reckless in not knowing, were false, and he continued to do so even after receipt of a Commission subpoena. The Order finds that although Abdelnour did not succeed in selling any of the fictitious securities, as a result of his fraud, Abdelnour willfully violated Sections 17(a)(1) and (3) of the Securities Act, and by engaging in unregistered broker-dealer activity, he willfully violated Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act.

Based on the above, the Order requires Abdelnour to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $25,000 and orders him to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of the above-referenced provisions of the Securities Act and Exchange Act. The Order further bars Abdelnour from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization; bars him from serving or acting as an employee, officer, director, member of an advisory board, investment adviser or depositor of, or principal underwriter for, a registered investment company or affiliated person of such investment adviser, depositor or principal underwriter; and bars him from participating in any offering of a penny stock, including: acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent or other person who engages in activities with a broker, dealer or issuer for purposes of the issuance of or trading in any penny stock, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock; with the right to apply for reentry after five years to the appropriate self-regulatory organization, or if there is none, to the Commission.

Abdelnour consented to the issuance of the Order without admitting or denying any of the findings.

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