Securities Law

Florida lawyer and disbarred New York attorney are indicted in alleged opinion letter scheme

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Florida lawyer Thomas Craft and disbarred New York attorney Richard Rubin have been indicted in an alleged scheme to produce fraudulent opinion letters that allowed sales of microcap stock to the investing public.

Rubin, 78, of Brooklyn, New York, and Craft, 55, of Tequesta, Florida, are charged with securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, according to a Dec. 2 press release by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission complaint seeks civil penalties and a ban on participating in penny stock offerings; the indictment is here.

Bloomberg Law and Law360 have coverage.

Craft is accused of serving as a rubber stamp on opinion letters for which Rubin had done the legal work, despite his disbarment in 1995. The letters that Craft signed claimed that he had personal knowledge of the basis for his opinions, even though he did not, the complaint alleged.

Rubin also signed some letters himself while fraudulently claiming to be a lawyer, according to the complaint. Rubin signed at least 98 attorney opinion letters, while Craft signed at least 29, according to the complaint.

Craft was paid $400 to $2,500 for each opinion letter he signed, the SEC said.

A lawyer for Craft, James Sallah, told Bloomberg Law that his client looks forward to addressing the allegations in the indictment. Sallah said Craft has consented to a permanent injunction in the SEC matter without admitting to or denying the allegations. A lawyer for Rubin declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg Law.

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