Jailed broker faces SEC civil suit over real estate deal

A jailed Broward County stock promoter now faces civil charges over an allegedly fraudulent real estate deal.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint on Wednesday against Robert Vitale of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, South Florida Business Journal reported. Vitale is currently serving a two-year federal prison sentence in Miami following an obstruction of justice and false testimony conviction. The SEC’s complaint against Vitale and Realty Acquisitions and Trust claims Vitale and his companies generated at least $8.7 million from investors in four real estate securities offerings between 2004 and 2010.

Vitale allegedly made “numerous materially false and misleading statements” about his experience, integrity, potential investment risks and the ownership status of the properties included in the offering. He is also accused of not registering as a stock broker and failing to disclose his 2006 SEC ban for his role in a “pump and dump” scheme. [South Florida Business Journal]Eric Kalis