NY man in SEC fraud probe arrested over subpoena response

NEW YORK Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:34pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 23 (Reuters) - A man suspected of fraudulently collecting money from investors to buy shares in big-name private companies was arrested on Thursday after failing to respond to subpoenas, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said.

Anthony Coronati, of Staten Island, New York, was arrested after he did not respond to the SEC's requests for documents and testimony and then ignored related a civil judgment against him, the SEC said in a statement.

According to the SEC, Coronati was running a business in Staten Island called Bidtoask.com in which he solicited funds he said would be used to buy shares of private companies that might soon go public. Using Facebook as an example, Coronati tried to convince potential investors that purchasing shares of a company before an initial public offering would generate big returns for them.

Officials suspect Coronati was using money he collected from investors to pay for personal expenses, the release said.

Coronati was not represented by a lawyer when he appeared in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Thursday. He was released on a $50,000 bond, according to the SEC's announcement.

Coronati did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.