SEC Wins Judgment in $2.2m Prime Bank Investment Scheme

(HedgeCo.Net) A federal court entered a final judgment against Peter Baker of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Elizabeth Oharriz of Miami Shores, Florida, and their companies for orchestrating a prime bank investment scheme and stealing over $2.2 million from investors.

According to the SEC’s complaint, filed on June 4, 2019, Baker and codefendant Elizabeth Oharriz engaged in a scheme to sell fictitious prime bank instruments to investors, misrepresenting the instruments as legitimate and claiming that investors would earn substantial profits. As alleged in the complaint, Baker and Oharriz defrauded five groups of investors out of over $2 million and attempted to prevent investors from uncovering the fraud by providing them with fabricated bank documents.

The SEC’s complaint charged Baker, Oharriz, Baker’s company Prestige Global Trading, LLC, and Oharriz’s companies, Diversified Consulting & Logistics, Inc. and Sienna Business Group, Inc., with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaint also charged Baker and Oharriz with violating the registration provisions of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. On January 5, 2021, the court granted the SEC’s motion for summary judgment against Baker, reserving the determinations of penalties or other relief for a later date. Oharriz and her companies previously entered into a bifurcated settlement, agreeing to be permanently enjoined from violations of the charged provisions with relief to be determined by the court at a later date.

Judge Leigh Martin May for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia entered final judgment against all defendants, ordering Baker to pay a civil penalty of $585,141 and Oharriz to pay a civil penalty of $390,094. The court also ordered that Baker and Prestige be permanently enjoined from violating the federal securities laws. The court further ordered Baker and Prestige to pay jointly and severally disgorgement totaling $502,934 plus prejudgment interest of $78,466 and ordered Oharriz and her companies to pay jointly and severally disgorgement totaling $798,464 plus prejudgment interest of $124,574.

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