SEC Charges GEL Direct Trust and Individuals with Operating as Unregistered Broker-Dealers in $1.2 Billion Securities Trading Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, has charged Jeffrey K. Galvani and Stuart A. Jeffery and two New York based entities they control with operating as non-registered brokerage firms. The SEC claims that Galvani and Jeffery, registered representatives for a different broker dealer, created GEL Direct Trust, and managed it via GEL Direct, LLC. These entities weren’t registered as broker-dealers with the SEC, but they facilitated more than $1.2 billion in securities trading, mostly penny stocks.

Galvani & Jeffery, through their GEL entities, will provide brokerage services for around 60 clients, completing approximately 19,000 transactions in the securities market. These services included managing customer securities, directing trading, facilitating settlements and distributing trading profits. The defendants received compensation of at least $12,000,000 for their services.

In its complaint, the SEC accuses Galvani, Jeffery, GEL Direct Trust, GEL Direct, LLC, and GEL Direct, LLC of failing to comply with the Securities Exchange Act of 1933’s broker-dealer requirements. Galvani, Jeffery and GEL Direct Trust are also charged. “control persons” Section 20(a), Exchange Act. All defendants are being sought by the SEC for permanent injunctions and civil penalties. They also want disgorgement of prejudgment interest.

Derek Kleinmann and Carol Stumbaugh conducted the SEC’s investigations, which were overseen by Sarah S. Mallett and Barbara L. Gunn of the Fort Worth Regional Office. Keefe-Bernstein is conducting the litigation under B. David Fraser’s supervision.

The SEC thanks the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for its assistance and cooperation in this investigation.

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Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is an American regulatory agency that regulates the United States securities industry. This includes the exchanges of securities, brokers and dealers. Its primary goal is to safeguard investors, maintain fair markets and facilitate capital formation.

The SEC enforces federal security laws by regulating registration and disclosure requirements of companies that sell securities to the general public. The SEC reviews and approves filings such as annual reports, registration statements and other documents to ensure investors are provided with accurate information.

In addition, the SEC investigates, prosecutes, and enforces securities laws violations, including insider trading and accounting fraud. The SEC has the power to seek injunctions and criminal charges, as well as impose civil penalties on individuals or companies who engage in fraudulent activity.

The SEC is also a key player in the regulation of securities markets. This ensures fair and orderly trade. The SEC supervises the operation of securities exchanges and clearing agencies. It also sets standards and rules to promote transparency and integrity.

SEC acts as a watchdog in the securities industry. It works to protect investors’ interests and maintain the integrity of markets.

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