Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General

Bureau of Securities
Franklin L. Widmann, Chief

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2004

For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, Genene Morris
973-504-6327

Bureau of Securities Seeks Penalties Against
Unregistered Broker-Dealer in Toms River

NEWARK - The State has filed a complaint seeking civil penalties against an unregistered broker-dealer in Toms River who allegedly sold investments that were not registered for sale, State Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and Bureau of Securities Chief Franklin L. Widmann announced.

The State alleges that James M. Racaniello, who conducted business from his residence in Toms River, offered and sold unregistered securities at least 12 times during 2001 and 2002. Each offering and sale is a violation of state law. The first violation carries a penalty up to $10,000, and each subsequent violation carries a penalty up to $20,000.

"The laws that exist to safeguard consumers were allegedly ignored, and that put investors at greater risk," Attorney General Harvey said. "We allege that Mr. Racaniello was selling unregistered securities, and because he was not registered himself, he should not have been promoting and selling any investments."

"Among the first and easiest steps that consumers can take when considering investments is to check whether the person is registered to be in business," BOS Chief Widmann said. "Investors can contact the Bureau of Securities at 973-504-3600 to learn whether the person is registered with us. They can also ask if the securities being offered are registered."

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Posted April 2004