The judge is not an SEC regulator. There has been lots of SEC litigation filed because of the illegal use of the 3(a)(10) exemption. In all of those cases the perpetrators of the fraud had a settlement agreement approved by a local judge. That's how the 3(a)(10) exemption works. A court must approve the fairness of the terms and conditions of the exchange
The judge is just some mediator. He has no reason to deny the settlement since the attorneys on both sides agree that the settlement is fair and have no objections to the settlement agreement.
The attorneys in this case for HAON (Alex Stavrou) and EROP (Mark Pena) are securities attorneys so they should know better. Even more disturbing is the fact that they have worked in the same firm and share office space. EROP Capital is basically supplying the attorney for both sides because HAON and EROP had a prearranged agreement in place to settle the EROP transactions with free trading stock. By having friendly attorneys on both sides you speed up the process and avoid any problems with getting the settlement approved by a judge.
Unico Inc is probably the best example of abusing the 3(a)(10) exemption by having pre-arranged agreements in place. With Unico Inc, The Unico CEO, Anthony Lopez, would accept money from Mark A Lefkowitz with a prearranged agreement in place that the capital would be paid off in free trading stock using the 3(a)(10) by having a local judge sign off on the settlement agreement
Lefkowitz wasn't paying off bona fide debts, he was using the share sales as a way to raise capital for Unico Inc while making a bunch of money for himself since he was getting his shares at a big discount to the market price.
I don't know how you can look at EROP Capital being issued free trading stock in exchange for a $700,000 cash payment on behalf of HAON any differently. That was not a bona fide debt being paid off by EROP Capital. HAON did not accept money or services from The HOPP Companies that created a bona fide debt on the balance sheet. That was a capital raise for the company. HAON issued unregistered free trading stock to EROP Capital for cash from EROP Capital to be used for an acquisition.
The Unico Inc CEO, Anthony Lopez, and the financier, Mark E Lefkowitz, were both criminally Indicted in that case.
Mark Lopez got sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Mark Lefkowitz got sentenced to 10 months in prison.
The attorney used by Lefkowitz for all 34 of his court settlement agreements, Robert Edwin Turffs, wasn't named in any litigation and is still eligible to practice law to this day.
Now I'm not saying that what the HAON CEO and EROP Capital are doing is as bad as what Lopez and Lefkowitz did. My point is just that a judge approving a settlement agreement between two sides that both consent to the settlement doesn't mean no laws are being broken.
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