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Butts Complaint

Butts Complaint

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Published by southfllawyers
SEC complaint against PIP attorney Bernie Butts
SEC complaint against PIP attorney Bernie Butts

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: southfllawyers on Sep 20, 2013
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09/22/2013

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
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Securities and Exchange Commission,
Plaintiff,
v casexl - z 3 1 1
Bernard H. Butts, Jr.,
Fotios Geivelis, Jr., also known as Frank Anastasio,Worldwide Funding 111 Limited LLC,
Douglas J. Anisky,Sidney Banner,
Express Commercial Capital LLC,
James Baggs,
Defendants,
Bernard H. Butts, Jr. PA,
Butts Holding Corporation,
Margaret A. Hering,Global Worldwide Funding Ventures, lnc.,PW Consulting Group LLC,
Relief Defendants.
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PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR SECURITIES FRAUD,INJUNCTION AND OTHER RELIEF
Plaintiff Securities and Exchange Commission (ktSEC'') alleges for its complaint against
defendants Flolida attorney Bernard H. Butts, Jr., Fotios Geivelis Jr., who used the alias Frank
Anastasio, and his company Worldwide Funding l1l Limited LLC (ûûWorldwide Fundinf'), and
sales agents Douglas J. Anisky, Sidney Banner and his company Express Commercial Capital
LLC çExpress Commcrcial''), and James Baggs; and relief defendants Bernard H. Butts, Jr. PA
(CtBut'ts PA'') Butts Holding Corporation (tûBut'ts Holdinf'), Margaret A. Hering, Global
Worldwide Funding Ventures, Inc. (EûGlobal Ventures''), and PW Consulting Group LLC (ûTW
Consulting''):
SUMMARY
From at least Aplil 2012 through the present, Flolida attomey Bernard H. Butts, Jr.,
Fotios Geivelis Jr., who used the alias Frarlk Anastasio, and his company Worldwide Funding,
Case 1:13-cv-23115-JEM Document 1 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/29/2013 Page 1 of 22
 
and sales agents Anisky, Balmer and his company Express Commercial, and Baggs obtainedmillions of dollars by defrauding investors tllrough the offer and sale of investments in a
fictitious prime bank instnzment trading program.Geivelis and Butts paid sales agents including Aniskys Banner, Express Commercial, andBaggs to lure investors through the Intemet, telephone, and personal contact into the schemewith promises of extraordinmy profits. As part of the scheme, defendants told investors that an
investment of between USD $60,000 and $90,000 would generate profits of at least :6,660,000
(Euro) within 15 to 45 business days and continue to eanz profits of approximately 14% per week
for 40 to 42 weeks.Defendants falsely promised that when an investor's ftmds were deposited into Butts'
attorney trust account, Butts would not release the funds until he received proof from the
receiving bank that a f 10,000,000 Standby Letter of Credit (ûfSBLC'') had been deposited into a
securities trading program which was to generate the protits for the investors.
Defendants did not disclose that instead of using the funds to obtain SBLCS, theymisappropliatcd investors' funds with Geivelis and Butts each taking approximately 45% and
paying approximately 10% to the sales agents. Contrary to the defendants' representations, the
acquisition of the SBLCS never occurred, no loans were obtained, and no promised returns wercearned in a trading program or paid to investors. Over more than a year, thc defendants obtained
at least $3.5 million from approximately forty-tive investors nationwide and in foreign countries
by making false and misleading statements or omitting material facts in the offer and sale of
these unregistered securities.To keep the scheme going, Geivelis and Butts also made lulling statements to investors,
representing that the trading program was successful and that payments to investors were
imminent.Through these actions, Geivelis, Worldwide Funding, Butts, Anisky, Banner, Express
Commercial, and Baggs violated, and unless restrained and enjoined will continue to violate, theantifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (içsecurities Act''), 15 U.S.C.
j 77q(a), Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (sûExchange Act''), 15 U.S.C. j
78j(b), and Rule 10b-5, 17 C.F.R. j 240.10b-5.
ln addition, Geivelis, Worldwide Funding, Butts, Anisky, Banner, Express Commercial,and Baggs offered and sold securities in the form of investment contracts, which were not
Case 1:13-cv-23115-JEM Document 1 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/29/2013 Page 2 of 22
 
registered with the SEC at the time they were sold, in violation of the securities registration
provisions of Section 5(a) and (c) of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. j 77e(a) and (c), and unless
restrained and enjoined will continue to violate these securities registration provisions.
8. Geivelis, Butts, Anisky, Express Commercial, Banner, and Baggs also acted as broker-
dealers in violation of the registration provisions of Section 15(a)(l) of the Exchange Act, 15
U.S.C. j 78o(a)(l), and unless restrained and enjoined will continue to violate the broker-dealer
registration provisions.
9. Relief defendants Benmrd H. Butts, Jr. PA, Butts Holding Corporation, GlobalWorldwide Funding Ventures, lnc., Margaret A. Hering, and PW Consulting Group LLC
received investors' funds to which they had no legitimate claim and were unjustly enriched.
Il. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
10. The SEC blings this action under Section 20(b) of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. j 77t(b)
and Section 21(d) and (e) of the Exchange Act, l 5 U.S.C. j 78u(d) and (e), to restrain and enjoin
the defendants from engaging in the acts, practices and courses of business described in this
Complaint, and acts, practices and courses of business of similar purport and object. TheCommission seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains derived from the
conduct alleged in the Complaint plus prejudgment interest, and third-tier civil penalties under
Section 20(d) of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. j 77t(d) and Section 21(d)(3) of the Exchange Act,15 U.S.C. j 78u(d)(3).
11. This Court has jurisdiction under Section 22(a) of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. j 77v(a)
and Section 27 of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. j 78aa. The defendants, directly or indirectly,
made use of the means and instrumentalities of interstate commerce or of the mails, incolmection with the acts, practices and courses of business alleged in the Complaint.
Certain of the acts, practices, and courses of business constituting violations of lawalleged in the Complaint occurred within the Southel'n District of Florida. ln addition, Butts
Banner, and Anisky reside in the Southern District of Florida. Express Commercial conducts
business from the Southem District of Florida.111. DEFENDANTS
Defendant Bernard H. Butts, Jr., bol'n in 1941, is an attorney admitted to practice law inFlorida. He resides and transacted business in Miami, Florida. He entered into numerous escrow
3
Case 1:13-cv-23115-JEM Document 1 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/29/2013 Page 3 of 22

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