SEC Settles Securities Fraud Case With “Cherry-Picking” Investment Professionals
On October 25th, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published an official litigation release confirming that the agency has obtained a final consent judgment in the securities fraud case involving Ramiro Jose Sugranes, Lina Maria Garcia, UCB Financial Advisers, Inc., and UCB Financial Services Limited. The defendants—as well as two relief defendants—will pay a collective $5.7 million to resolve the matter. Within this article, our Miami investment fraud attorney discusses the details of the settlement agreement reached by the SEC.
Background: Securities Professional Accused of “Cherry-Picking” Investments
The SEC filed its complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Within that complaint, the agency alleges that Ramiro Jose Sugranes (CRD#: 1660839) improperly selected “cherry-picked” profitable trades for himself and diverted unprofitable, unsuccessful trades to his clients. During the period in question, Mr. Sugranes was associated with UCB Financial Advisers, Inc., and UCB Financial Services Limited—both firms were based in Miami, Florida.
The SEC’s complaint notes that Lina Maria Garcia was a financial professional who served as the President and Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) of UCB Financial Advisers, Inc. at the time when Mr. Sugranes was “cherry-picking” investments. The SEC alleges that Ms. Garcia enabled the securities fraud scheme. The parents of Florida financial professional Ramiro Jose Sugranes were named as relief defendants in the case. Funds were allegedly diverted to accounts that they controlled.
Settlement Reached: Financial Sanctions and Individual Penalties
The SEC has reached a settlement with all parties named in the case. To start, the agency has found a number of different securities law violations, including a breach of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. However, the matter has been resolved without any of the parties admitting to or denying any of the specific allegations raised by the federal agency. The following sanctions are part of the securities fraud settlement:
- Ramiro Jose Sugranes will pay disgorgement/restitution of $4.6 million;
- Ramiro Jose Sugranes will pay a civil financial penalty of $500,000;
- UCB Financial Advisers, Inc. will pay a civil fine of $250,000;
- UCB Financial Services Limited will pay a civil fine of $250,000;
- Lina Maria Garcia will pay disgorgement/restitution of $225,718;
- Lina Maria Garcia will pay a civil financial penalty of $100,000;
- Ramiro Jose Sugranes has been permanently barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity; and
- Lina Maria Garcia has been suspended from the securities industry for 12 months, including a suspension in participating in penny stock offerings.
Contact Our Securities Fraud Lawyer for Guidance and Support
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami, FL investor losses attorney is a devoted advocate for clients. If you or your family member was financially harmed by an investment fraud, we can help. Reach out to us by phone or send us a direct message to arrange your fully private consultation with a securities fraud attorney. We represent investors in Miami, Miami-Dade County, South Florida, and throughout the wider region.