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SEC Files Charges Against San Diego Broker

November 17, 1998|Debora Vrana

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against San Diego broker Michael W. Ribant, 40, for allegedly misappropriating about $3.3 million from 67 customer accounts and using it to partially fund a women's baseball league. In 1997, Ribant invested about $1 million, along with his partners, to start the Ladies League Baseball Assn. It was the first pro baseball league for women since the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League ended its 11-year run in 1954. In its action, the SEC charged Ribant, who was doing business as Trinity Capital, with selling customers' securities without their authorization and wiring the sale proceeds to accounts that Ribant had opened. Ribant was allegedly using the funds to help finance Ladies League Baseball, with teams in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Jose, according to Kelly Bowers of the SEC's Los Angeles office. Phone calls to Trinity Capital went unanswered. In its lawsuit, the SEC seeks an order permanently banning Ribant from future violations of securities laws and return of the money to investors along with civil penalties. Ribant agreed to have a trustee appointed for his firm, who will liquidate Trinity Capital, the SEC said. In August, Ribant disbanded the Ladies League.

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