SEC Plans To File Civil Suit Against Bilzerian
NEW YORK (AP) _ The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to file a civil suit against Singer Co. Chairman Paul A. Bilzerian, who already faces criminal charges for alleged securities and tax fraud, according to a published report.
The SEC notified Bilzerian last month of its intent to file the suit seeking ″substantial monetary disgorgement,″ The Wall Street Journal reported in Tuesday’s editions. The notification was disclosed in court documents, the Journal said.
According to the documents, William R. McLucas, an SEC enforcement official, also notified other unidentified individuals that they would be sued by the agency in connection with the alleged fraud. McLucas declined to disclose the identities of these people, the Journal said.
Bilzerian, 38, is scheduled to go to trial May 1 on the tax and securities charges involving three corporate raids. Bilzerian has asserted his innocence.
The criminal case is likely to go ahead first even if the SEC files its civil suit before May 1, the newspaper said.
A civil suit would allow the government to seek to reclaim funds it alleges were earned illegally. The amount reclaimed through this process, called disgorgement, often exceeds the amount the government can collect in fines from a criminal conviction.
In addition, the burden of proof is less strict in a civil case, making it easier for the SEC to prove its charges through a civil suit.
The criminal charges involve Bilzerian’s publicly disclosed raids on Hammermill Paper Co., H.H. Robertson Co., and Cluett, Peabody & Co., and an undisclosed investment involving Armco Inc.
Bilzerian’s $1.06 billion takeover of Singer, completed last year, was not part of the indictment.