The Securities and Exchange Commission Sanctions Johnny Clifton for Antifraud and Failure to Supervise Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) recently announced that it barred Johnny Clifton, who was president, chief executive officer, and principal of MPG Financial, LLC, a former Commission-registered broker-dealer, from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, entered a cease-and-desist order, and imposed a $150,000 third-tier civil money penalty. The Commission found that Clifton violated Sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2), and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 because he made material misrepresentations and omissions in the offer and sale of oil-and-gas limited partnership interests, and through those misrepresentations, omissions, and other misconduct he engaged in a fraudulent scheme and course of business that operated as a fraud on prospective investors. The Commission also found that Clifton violated Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 because he failed reasonably to supervise at least one MPG Financial sales representative with a view towards detecting and preventing the sales representative’s securities law violations. Concluding that it was in the public interest to impose a full collateral bar on Clifton, the Commission stated that “[h]is repeated and egregious misconduct evidences an unfitness to participate in the securities industry that goes beyond the professional capacity in which he was acting” and “demonstrates his unfitness to participate in the securities industry in any capacity.”

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