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Friday, March 13, 2015

SEC ANNOUNCES DEFAULT JUDGEMENT AGAINST LAWYER FOR FORGING ATTORNEY OPINION LETTERS

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 
Litigation Release No. 23217 / March 11, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Guy M. Jean-Pierre, a/k/a Marcelo Dominguez de Guerra, Civil Action No. 12-cv-8886
Default Judgment Entered Against Securities Lawyer for Forging Attorney Opinion Letters for Microcap Stocks

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that a default judgment including nearly $1.5 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalty was entered on March 10, 2015 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Guy M. Jean-Pierre (Jean-Pierre) a/k/a Marcelo Dominguez de Guerra, a securities lawyer. Jean-Pierre engaged in a fraudulent scheme to issue forged attorney opinion letters that facilitated the transfer of restricted microcap shares on Pink OTC Markets Inc. (now named OTC Markets Group Inc.), after Pink Sheets had banned him from issuing such letters. Pink Sheets is a financial marketplace trading platform that provides price and liquidity information for nearly 10,000 securities. Jean-Pierre sought to evade the Pink Sheet ban by writing letters using his niece's identity and falsifying her signature without her knowledge or consent. In addition to ordering permanent injunctions from violating antifraud statutes and rule, Jean-Pierre was ordered to disgorge $62,000, along with prejudgment interest of $7,580.43, and pay a penalty of $1,425,000 for a total of $1,494,580.43 and is subject to a lifetime bar from participating in the offering of any penny stock pursuant to Section 20(g) of the Securities Act.

On December 6, 2012, the Commission filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York charging Jean-Pierre for issuing fraudulent attorney opinion letters that resulted in more than 70 million shares of microcap stock becoming available for unrestricted trading by investors.

On March 10, 2015, United States District Judge Lorna Schofield issued default judgment against Jean-Pierre adopting the opinion of Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman. With the entry of the default judgments, the Commission was granted full relief sought in its Complaint.

The Commission's investigation was conducted by Megan R. Genet and Steven G. Rawlings of the Commission's New York Regional Office. The Commission's litigation effort was led by Todd Brody and Megan R. Genet.

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