Final Defendant Settles SEC Fraud Charges in "Pay to Play" Case Involving New York State Common Retirement Fund
On May 22, 2014, the Honorable Katherine Polk Failla, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, entered a final judgment against defendant Saul Meyer in the enforcement action arising from the "pay-to-play" scheme involving the New York State's Common Retirement Fund ("Common Fund"). Starting on March 19, 2009, the Commission filed securities fraud and related charges against several participants in the scheme, including Henry Morris ("Morris"), the top political advisor to former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, and David Loglisci ("Loglisci"), formerly the Deputy Comptroller and the Common Fund's Chief Investment Officer. Morris and Loglisci orchestrated a scheme to extract sham finder fees and other payments and benefits from investment management firms seeking to do business with the Common Fund. In all, the Commission charged seventeen defendants, including various nominee entities through which payments were funneled and certain of the investment management firms and their principals. Meyer was the principal of an investment management firm and is alleged to have made unlawful payments to Morris in connection with one of the transactions at issue. The civil action had been stayed until the outcome of the New York Attorney General's Office's parallel criminal action against some of the defendants charged by the Commission, including Meyer.
Meyer previously pled guilty to the parallel criminal charges and was sentenced to a term of conditional discharge due to his cooperation with law enforcement authorities and ordered to forfeit $1 million. In the SEC's federal court action, Meyers consented to entry of a judgment that permanently enjoins him from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. In addition to the judgment entered in the federal court action, the Commission issued an administrative order on June 10, 2014 imposing remedial sanctions against Meyer. The Commission's administrative order bars Meyer from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, or transfer agent, subject to a right to reapply after seven years.
The Commission's claims in this action are now fully resolved. The Commission acknowledges the assistance and cooperation of the New York Attorney General's Office in this matter.