SEC accuses broker of fraud

Michael P. Tremoglie Jul. 9, 2012, 10:45am

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday that it has filed a complaint against Axius, its CEO and stock promoter for allegedly engaging in a broker bribery scheme.

Roland Kaufmann, 59, a Swiss citizen living in Brooklyn, is the Axius CEO. Stock promoter Jean-Pierre Neuhaus, 55, is also a stock Swiss citizen living in Brooklyn. Axius is a Nevada corporation which is purported to be a business incubator and holding company promoting health, well-being and healthy lifestyle companies.

The SEC's complaint specifically alleges that beginning January, Kaufmann and Neuhaus engaged in an undisclosed kickback arrangement with an individual who claimed to represent a group of registered representatives with trading discretion over the accounts of wealthy customers.

Kaufmann and Neuhaus allegedly promised kickbacks of between 26 percent and 28 percent to the individual and the registered representatives he purported to represent in exchange for the purchase of up to $5 million of Axius stock through the customers' accounts.

Kaufmann allegedly instructed the individual on Feb. 16-17 to purchase approximately 14,000 shares of Axius stock for a total of approximately $49,000 through matched trades. Kaufmann allegedly paid the individual bribes of approximately $13,700.

Neuhaus, Kaufmann, and Axius are accused of violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, plus pre-judgment interest, and civil penalties from all defendants.

It also wants an order prohibiting Neuhaus and Kaufmann from participating in any offering of penny stock and an order prohibiting Kaufmann from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

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