Dennis F. Wright, an ex-AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. agent who pleaded guilty to related criminal charges last month, will pay $2 million to settle his case with the SEC. Wright is alleged to have stolen from his customers and to have falsified account statements to conceal the theft. He is further accused of defrauding AXA and its clients out of $1.5 million through fraudulently purchasing and selling securities offered by AXA beginning in the early 1990s and going through June 2012.
According to the SEC, ““For more than a decade, defendant Dennis F. Wright, a stockbroker and insurance salesman entrusted with handling his clients’ retirement funds, lied and stole over $1.5 million from at least 28 customers. Wright targeted his childhood friends and/or members of his community, unsophisticated and inexperienced investors who trusted Wright to honestly represent their financial interests.”
Wright’s $2 million settlement includes disgorgement in addition to $500,000 in prejudgment interest. Any restitution that Wright is forced to pay as a result of his criminal case will go toward the disgorgement in accordance with the settlement agreement. He is also looking at up to twenty-five years in prison on his criminal securities fraud charges, as well as a fine of $250,000.
The Department of Justice alleges that Wright was a stockbroker and insurance salesman who handled AXA clients’ retirement funds. He fraudulently encouraged those clients to liquidate securities and other assets after falsely promising them that he would invest their money in what he represented to be “managed funds.” Following from the false promises, Wright acquired more than $1.5 million from more than 30 AXA clients through account transfers and withdrawals among other methods.
According to Wright’s settlement, he will be permanently barred from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization. He will also be prohibited from participating in any penny stock offerings.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.