SEC Withdraws Civil Charges Against P.R. Firm President
NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge has dismissed civil insider trading charges against the president of a New York public relations firm after the Securities and Exchange Commission withdrew its case against him.
U.S. District Judge Milton Pollack dismissed the charges against Ronald F. Hengen Oct. 24 after lawyers for the SEC and Hengen agreed to the dismissal, according to court papers disclosed Monday.
The SEC had not yet announced the dismissal, but Hengen, president of R.F. Hengen Inc., a small public relations firm, did so Monday, claiming victory.
″I fought the SEC because I knew the commission was wrong,″ Hengen said in a news release issued by his firm. ″I’m both joyful and angry - happy that the emotional and financial burden that I and my family have had to carry for almost three years is finally over, and angry that the commission would so readily accept the unfounded accusations of a disgruntled ex-employee.″
An SEC spokesman, Jason Gettinger, would not comment on the dismissal other than to say it meant no conclusion of guilt or innocence was reached. The case was dismissed with prejudice, however, meaning the SEC cannot file the same charges against Hengen again.
In a suit filed in January, the SEC accused Hengen of tipping a broker to confidential earnings forecasts in 1983 for Puritan Fashions Corp. Puritan no longer is a publicly traded company.
After a two-day civil trial last month, the SEC asked Pollack to dismiss the charges against Hengen, who was charged along with Puritan’s former vice chairman, Samuel Rubenstein and two brokers.
Rubenstin and the brokers all previously settled the SEC charges without admitting or denying wrongdoing.