Litigation Release No. 24377/ December 20, 2018
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Grenda Group, LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-00954 (CCR) (W.D.N.Y.) (filed August 30, 2018)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has agreed to resolve its claims against Walter F. Grenda, Jr., who was charged with violating a July 2015 Commission order barring him from association with an investment adviser and with aiding and abetting violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Walter Grenda continued to associate with Grenda Group, LLC – an entity he and his son, Gregory M. Grenda, formed in part to replace his previous investment advisory business, Reliance Financial Advisors, LLC – despite a July 2015 Commission order barring him from association with an investment adviser with the right to reapply after three years. The SEC alleged, among other things, that Walter Grenda met with a prospective client and current clients in Grenda Group’s offices and made discretionary changes to clients’ investment accounts. The SEC also alleged that Walter Grenda repeatedly impersonated his son on telephone calls to the firm’s broker-dealer, after which the broker-dealer terminated its relationship with Grenda Group.
Without admitting or denying the allegations, Walter Grenda consented to a final judgement, entered on December 7, 2018 by the Honorable Christina Clair Reiss in the Western District of New York, permanently enjoining him from violating the antifraud provisions of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) and the associational bar provision of Section 203(f) of the Advisers Act. He was also ordered to pay a $25,000 civil penalty. In addition, on December 20, 2018, the Commission issued an order against Walter Grenda, barring him from association with an investment adviser, with no right to reapply.
The SEC’s litigation against Grenda Group and Gregory Grenda, who were charged with permitting Walter Grenda’s association and making deceptive statements and material omissions to advisory clients, is ongoing.