It's not a good idea to sell securities without a license.
Just ask Behrooz Sarafraz, whom it’s gonna cost a few bucks -- well, more than $22 million actually.
Sarafraz has agreed to relinquish that fortune to settle charges that he peddled millions of dollars in oil-and-gas investments over an eight-year period without registering as a broker-dealer or an associate of a broker-dealer, as required by a federal law passed, let’s see ... EIGHTY YEARS AGO.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit accusing the Tiburon, Ca.-based Sarafraz with acting as the primary salesman on behalf of TVC Opus I Drilling Program LP and Tri-Valley Corp., which were based in Bakersfield, Ca., even though he never registered with the agency.
Those two companies raised more than $140 million from 2002 to 2010 for their oil- and gas-drilling venture. In return for selling partnership interests in Opus and securities of Tri-Valley, Sarafraz got seven to 17 percent in commissions for his sales and those of a network he assembled.
Sarafraz wound up with $16.4 million.
Without admitting or denying the charges, he agreed in a proposed court settlement to disgorge all of those commissions, to pay $6 million in prejudgment interest and a $50,000 penalty.
The deal calls for a judge to also permanently enjoin him from ever doing it again.