BREAKING NEWS: Atlanta Securities Attorney Gregory Bartko Jailed Immediately After Guilty Verdicts In North Carolina Fraud Case; Judge Finds That Lawyer Committed Perjury While Testifying
The Atlanta securities attorney who was defending clients in the alleged Billionaire Boys Club Ponzi case in Detroit and then was indicted in North Carolina on charges that he was running his own fraud scheme has been found guilty.
Gregory Bartko was immediately jailed by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III, who found that Bartko had committed perjury on the witness stand in the North Carolina case. Jurors had just returned guilty verdicts against Bartko for conspiracy, mail fraud and selling unregistered securities.
How the Detroit case in which Bartko was representing accused Ponzi schemer John J. Bravata against civil charges filed by the SEC will proceed is unclear.
Prosecutors said the North Carolina case against Bartko was one in which an attorney tried to hide behind criminals to insulate himself from prosecution.
“We should not let criminals get away simply because they have carefully covered their tracks,” said U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
“Complicated and difficult crimes by sophisticated and careful criminals may not be easy to investigate or prosecute, but they are some of the most important cases our office handles,” Holding said. “In this case, an experienced Atlanta securities attorney had used other criminal players to insulate himself from prosecution. He had evaded SEC audits, avoided examination by the bar association, and managed to fool nearly everyone, keeping both his license to practice law and his securities licenses.
“The Defendant was involved in a scheme to defraud victims of millions of dollars but yet was still representing clients before the SEC,” Holding said. “Such a defendant deserves to be prosecuted to the full degree under the law.”
Assisting in the Bartko case were the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the IRS and the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.
See earlier story on the PP Blog.
See Holding’s news release on the conviction and jailing of Bartko.
The 2009 Michigan case became known as the “Billionaires Boys Club” prosecution because a Bravata company was named “BBC Equities,” and the SEC asserted in July 2009 that BBC was intended to stand for “Billionaire Boys Club.”
A California Ponzi scheme in the 1980s also was known as “The Billionaire Boys Club.”