Friday, February 5, 2010

The Wheels of Justice Grind Slowly

Did you ever do business with a firm called First Jersey Securities? It was a well-known penny-stock pumper in the early 1990s, well-known for commercials featuring head honcho Robert Brennan dashing from his helicopter with the latest hot tip. Brennan and his firm were sued for securities fraud in 1995, and ordered by the SEC to pay back investors some $78 million.

Brennan tried to dodge that massive fine by declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but he eventually agreed to a lesser settlement of $45 million. The only problem was the New Jersey Bureau of Securities was forced to track down whatever assets Brennan had left, which at one point included a half-million dollars in chips from a Las Vegas casino.

But now the securities bureau has collected about $5 million, and is ready to pay back some wronged investors, 15 years after the initial complaint. If all 27,000 affected investors submit a claim, they'll be due the whopping sum of $190 apiece.

If you're wondering whether you're a First Jersey claimant, you can get more information here.

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