Securities Law

SEC Sues Fla. Lawyer, Says He Used Atty Niece's ID to Issue Opinion Letters, Faked Her Signature

Banned in 2010 from issuing opinion letters concerning so-called Pink Sheets stocks, a Florida lawyer has been accused of assuming another attorney’s identity in order to continue doing so.

In a civil suit (PDF) filed yesterday in federal court in New York City, the Securities and Exchange Commission accuses Guy M. Jean-Pierre, 53, of using the identity of his niece, who is also an attorney, without her knowledge or permission and falsifying her signature on opinion letters.

It seeks disgorgement of all profits from the opinion letters, for which Jean-Pierre allegedly was paid $500 per letter, plus civil monetary penalties.

Attorney disciplinary action against the niece was dismissed a little over a year ago in California (where she is inactive) and Texas (where she is active), after she explained that she had no knowledge of the opinion letters, the suit says. A disciplinary case against Jean-Pierre in Florida is ongoing.

Jean-Pierre, a 1985 graduate of Columbia Law School, was a corporate and securities associate for two well-known law firms, the suit says, before getting a job with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1991, where he worked until 1995.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub. req.) also has a story. It says the newspaper was unable to locate a lawyer representing Jean-Pierre on Friday for comment.

Hat tip: Loan Safe.

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