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Alleged Teen Scam Artist Misses SEC Deadline

5 February 2002

CALIFORNIA – Feb. 5, 2002 –As reported by the L.A. Times: "U.S. securities regulators said Monday that the Mission Viejo teenager accused of running an elaborate Internet scam missed a Monday deadline in which he had agreed to provide a complete accounting of his operation.

"The Securities and Exchange Commission last month alleged that Cole Bartiromo, 17, bilked investors worldwide out of more than $1 million through the "Invest Better 2001" Web site. In a partial settlement of the SEC's civil securities fraud complaint, Bartiromo, without admitting or denying guilt, agreed to turn over about $900,000 that had been transferred to an account at an overseas casino and provide a list of all bank accounts by Monday.

"SEC officials said Bartiromo had not submitted any of the required documents to the federal agency by 9 p.m. EST.

"…[Alexander Vasilescu, an SEC attorney] said the accounting is necessary to determine two issues: what type of civil penalty awaits Bartiromo and the total funds he will have to disgorge as the SEC probe continues. Bartiromo has handed over more than $1 million he had deposited in a Costa Rica casino account, according to investigators.

"…Officials at the SEC alleged that Bartiromo's scheme operated between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 and involved claims of sure-fire bets on sporting events…"

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