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Former Madoff employee from New Canaan facing charges

Published 1:14 pm, Tuesday, January 7, 2014
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A New Canaan man and former Bernard Madoff employee is facing a number of fraud charges, according to a notice of intent to fine issued by the state Department of Banking.

Connecticut's Banking Commission issued regulatory charges on Dec. 17 against Gregory Imbruce, of New Canaan, and several Stamford-based investment companies he operated for 19 securities violations.

Each charge could cost Imbruce up to $100,000 in fines, according to the notice.

The notice includes the following violations: Selling millions of dollars in unregistered securities; acting as an unregistered investment adviser; fraud in connection with the offer and sale of any security, such as failing to disclose material facts to prospective partners; and making a material misleading statement to Connecticut's Securities and Business Investments Division during an investigation, according to the state's notice.

Imbruce said in an interview that he did not willfully violate any regulations. Imbruce also said his legal counsel failed to advise him that he was required to register as an investor adviser.

He said he would file an official response and request a hearing.

"I'm not an attorney, but I relied upon such advice to comply with federal and state regulations and to follow such at all times," Imbruce said. "I will, however, seek to be registered going forward even if I'm not required."

Some violations date back to September 2009, according to the document. The notice shows that Imbruce neglected to disclose to his partners that he had been disciplined in 2011 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. At the time, the FINRA suspended Imbruce from association with any FINRA member for 10 business days and fined him $5,000 after determining he violated a rule of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, while he was employed at Madoff Securities, by purchasing securities during a public offering and subsequently short selling the stock during the restricted period. Madoff pled guilty to fraud charges in one of the largest Ponzi schemes on record. He was sentenced to a 150-year prison term in Butner, N.C.

The notice issued by the commission orders Imbruce and the companies in question to cease and desist from any activities related directly or indirectly to those violations.

Imbruce collected about $14.5 million in capital contributions from partner investments through Hunton Oil Partners LP, Giddings Oil & Gas LP and Asym Energy Fund III LP, the notice states. Imbruce said the investors who started the civil suit against him didn't not suffer any losses.

He also said he worked at Madoff Securities for only 18 months, and left in 2007. The firm collapsed in 2008.

The other companies named in the document are Hunton Oil Genpar LLC, Giddings Genpar LLC and Asym Capital III LLC. All have ties with Imbruce and they're all based out of 1055 Washington Blvd., Suite 410, in Stamford.

Imbruce formed Hunton LP, Giddings LP and Asym LP to invest in oil and natural gas properties in Oklahoma and Texas, according to the notice. He formed Hunton Genpar, Giddings Genpar and Asym Genpar to serve as the general partners of Hunton LP, Giddings LP and Asym LP, respectively. According to the notice, Imbruce has "exercised complete control and all decision making" for Hunton Genpar, Giddings Genpar, Asym Genpar and Asym LLC.

noliveira@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6582; @olivnelson