The SEC Filed an Enforcement Action Against Investment Advisor Albert Vagnozzi

Albert Vagnozzi (CRD#: 6197132) is a registered investment advisor representative with PTK Financial, LLC.

Broker’s Background

Albert Vagnozzi was first registered with Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. in 2013.  He was subsequently employed by Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments in 2014.  In 2015, he left the brokerage side of the business and joined PTK Financial as an Investment Advisor Representative.

Current and Past Allegations of Conduct Leading to Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 29, 2023, the SEC filed an enforcement action against Albert Vagnozzi and other individuals and entities, alleging that Albert Vagnozzi acted as a sales agent for various fraudulent funds offered to retail investors.  Specifically, the SEC alleged from “May 2018 through at least March 2020, Defendant Albert Vagnozzi operated the Agent Fund Capricorn Income Fund I, LLC (“Capricorn”), which Albert Vagnozzi formed for the purpose of raising investor funds for the unregistered CBSG offering.  Through Capricorn, Albert Vagnozzi raised more than $18 million from at least 110 investors and then funneled the investors’ money to CBSG for the purchase of CBSG promissory notes issued to Capricorn.”  A copy of the SEC’s Complaint is available by clicking here.  The Capricorn Income Fund I was one of several funds that offered to investors from Complete Business Solutions Group (CBSG).  CBSG was previously the subject of an SEC enforcement action.

Albert Vagnozzi and several other agents, including Alec Vagnozzi, Michael Tierney and Shannon Westhead, sold unregistered promissory notes on behalf of CBSG, raising more than $65 million from approximately 260 investors nationwide.  As a result of the conduct alleged in the Complaint, all Defendants violated Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) [15 U.S.C. §§ 77e(a), 77e(c)]; and Defendants Westhead, Alec Vagnozzi, Albert Vagnozzi, and Tierney also violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act [15 U.S.C. §77q(a)], Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) [15 U.S.C. § 78j(b)] and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5 [17 C.F.R. § 240 10b-5], and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act [15 USC  § 78q(a)].

The SEC’s complaint seeks permanent injunctions and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest against all defendants, as well as civil money penalties against Westhead, Alec Vagnozzi, Albert Vagnozzi, and Tierney.

This is not Albert Vagnozzi’s first regulatory disclosure.  In 2021, he entered into a consent decree with the State of Pennsylvania for failing to accurately update a Form ADV, which is a SEC required disclosure document, designed to protect investors.  The State of Pennsylvania imposed a fine of $125,000.

For a copy of Albert Vagnozzi’s CRD Report, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

Promissory Notes have similar characteristics to private placements.  Private Placements are unique in that, like the name says, they are not offered publicly. These stocks or bonds are usually offered only to accredited investors and brokerage institutions, as opposed to the open market. Private placement securities do not have to be registered with the SEC and may also be referred to as unregistered securities. They do not have the same oversight as public securities and carry a higher risk along with the higher potential reward. However, because they are riskier, federal securities laws limit them to investors who are financially sophisticated and are able to sustain the risk of loss, and so they don’t need the protections of a public securities offering.

With that said, some private placements may be offered to limited numbers of non-accredited investors. When private placements are offered to non-accredited investors, those investors or their purchaser representative must have sufficient knowledge and experience in investing and financial matters to be able to evaluate the risks and merits of the opportunity. These investors must also receive disclosure documents and financial statements.

Unfortunately, some investment companies and agents sell promissory notes and other private placement investments to retail investors without a legitimate purpose and without proper registration.  When this occurs, there is violation of the securities laws and the investor may have the opportunity to pursue a recovery of their investment losses.  The Wolper Law Firm is looking to speak with all clients of Albert Vagnozzi who were sold promissory notes or private placement interests in the Capricorn Income Fund or any other fund issued by CBSG.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at (800) 931-8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

Attorney Matthew Wolper

Attorney Matthew WolperMatt Wolper is a trial lawyer who focuses exclusively on securities litigation and arbitration. Mr. Wolper has handled hundreds of securities matters nationwide before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), JAMS, and in state and federal court. Mr. Wolper has handled and tried cases involving complex financial products and strategies ranging from traditional stocks and bonds to options, margin and other securities-based lending products, closed/open-end mutual funds, structured products, hedge funds, and penny stocks. [Attorney Bio]