KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A Better Financial Plan, LLC., (ABFP) based out of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania announces that, after a three-year investigation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it has entered into a settlement. The settlement was reached in response to an extensive review by the SEC, in which the SEC concluded that ABFP violated Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The settlement was reached without admission of any wrongdoing by ABFP or Mr. Vagnozzi.
The claims brought forth by the SEC related primarily to ABFP's advertising and marketing practices and not in relation to their investment products or business practices.
During the three-year investigation, ABFP cooperated fully and provided over 85,000 pages of requested documentation, including all communications with their clients from 2013 – 2017.
In the end, the SEC did not assert that any of ABFP's business practices involved any kind of fraud or misrepresentations to investors. Further, the SEC reviewed all of ABFP's bank records and found that no investor funds were mishandled or misused and determined that all investments offered by ABFP were carried out in a manner consistent with the information provided to investors.
"The SEC had no problem with what we feel is the most important thing – the investments themselves," said President & CEO Dean Vagnozzi. "What they mainly had a problem with was the way we promoted them such as offering free steak dinners as an incentive to hear about our investing strategies."
ABFP's Attorney, John Pauciulo, furthered Dean's statement by saying, "My client provided over 85,000 pages of documentation during the investigation, fully complying with every request made by the SEC and, ultimately, the SEC took issue with ABFP's process, not its products."
In 2019 alone, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought 862 enforcement actions – 526 of which were "standalone" actions – and obtained judgments and orders totaling more than $4.3 billion in disgorgement and penalties. Large brokerage firms such as JP Morgan, Cantor Fitzgerald, and BNY Mellon reached settlements with the SEC totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
ABFP is issuing this statement in the interest of full disclosure on the claims brought forth and the settlements that were reached in compliance with SEC regulations. "We feel that in the end, this process shows that our company and our employees are ethical hard-working people, the investment offerings we introduce to our clients are legitimate, and that we take good care of our clients and the investment dollars entrusted to us," said Dean Vagnozzi.
The findings of these proceedings have also paved the way for the company to restructure as a public company, which will alleviate advertising restrictions in the future.
The complete settlement agreement can be found here.
A Better Financial Plan, LLC. was founded in 2004 by Dean Vagnozzi with a vision that flying in the face of conventional-but-flawed wisdom can produce results the average middle-class investor never dreamed possible. In 2016, Vagnozzi furthered his vision by publishing the disruptive stock market alternative strategy manual: A Better Financial Plan: Significantly Improve Your Finances Without the Help of Wall Street.