Private Equity Shop Settles SEC Solicitation Charges

Mar 12 2013 | 12:50pm ET

Private-equity firm Ranieri Partners has settled allegations that an unregistered consultant solicited investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that William Stephens, a consultant at the New York-based firm, went further than his role as a "finder" allowed. Instead of just introducing investors to Ranieri, Stephens continued to work with them after the introduction had been made, including on transactions and analysis. Such activities should have been barred to a person not registered as a broker, the SEC said.

Stephens has agreed to be barred from the securities industry. Ranieri agreed to pay $375,000, and Stephens' boss at the firm, Donald Phillips, agreed to pay $75,000. The three neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing.

Phillips resigned from Ranieri, which focuses on real estate, in December.

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