Attorney General Alan Wilson announces settlement with Centaurus Financial, Inc., Ricky Mantei, and Mantei & Associates, LLC
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced on Monday a securities broker-dealer and its agent in Lexington have settled allegations that they violated state securities laws and will pay $650,000 in penalties.
According to a press release, California’s broker-dealer, Centaurus financial, Inc., its agent Rick Mantei and his Lexington company at 4580 Sunset Blvd, Mantei & Associates, LLC., entered into a Consent Order with the Securities Division.
The Consent Order settled allegations that the violated S.C. securities laws in their sales of complex structured securities products, known as “steepeners,” and in their sales of certain unlisted bonds.
“It is critical that broker-dealers and their agents follow our State’s securities laws because they hold our citizens’ hard-earned savings in their hands,” said Wilson, “Our securities laws require that recommendations of broker-dealers and their agents be suitable for their customers, and that they have appropriate policies and procedures in place to maintain compliance with the law.”
The Respondents agreed to cease and desist from violating South Carolina securities laws, without admitting or denying the Division’s findings.
Centaurus agreed to pay $650,000 in penalties and costs associated with the Division’s multi-year investigation, said the press release.
Mantei agreed to cease functioning as a supervisor or compliance officer at Centaurus and to design and implement policies and procedures to require additional review of transactions in accounts of senior investors.
Additionally, the attorney general’s office said Centaurus also agreed to retain an unaffiliated third-party compliance consultant to review Centaurus’ policies and procedures and its internal controls regarding the suitability of steepeners.
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