In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Brokerage CEO Imprisoned Over False Invoices

A New York brokerage CEO was sentenced to six months in prison last Thursday, after admitting to falsifying invoices provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Charles Moore, CEO of the broker-dealer Crucible Capital Group, pleaded guilty last November to obstructing an SEC investigation into Crucible's filing inaccurate net capital figures with the Commission.

Moore, it seems, had instructed a young employee to create false invoices, obscuring Crucible's debts.

Just a Little Clever Accounting

Crucible Capital marketed itself as a "boutique" investment banking firm, Reuters reports. Wholly owned and operated by Moore, its business consisted of assisting microcap issuers in raising capital, according to administrative proceedings before the SEC.

Crucible shared offices, staff, and expenses with another of Moore's companies, Angelic Holdings. In 2013, the SEC began investigating Crucible for failing to maintain minimum net capital and inaccurately representing its capital figures in monthly filings with the SEC.

When SEC investigators requested invoices to Angelic for Crucible's expenses, Moore instructed a young staffer to create false records. The fake documents that resulted omitted Crucible's unpaid debts which appeared on the actual invoices, thus making it appear that Crucible's net capital figures comported with submitted reports.

Well, Maybe Not That Clever

This is not the first time Moore and Crucible had been punished for inaccurate financial records. In 2008, Crucible consented to findings by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that it maintained inaccurate financial records and submitted inaccurate reports for much of 2006. In 2011, Crucible was fined $10,000 for inaccurate books and filings from 2008. Then, in 2013, Crucible was once again fined $12,500 and Moore was personally fined $10,000. The cause, of course, was inaccurate books and filings.

That trio of actions, all taken by FINRA, didn't appear to be enough to correct Crucible of its poor accounting ways. In 2014, the Department of Justice filed a criminal complaint against Moore, leading to his eventual plea.

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