Updated 1:48 p.m.
Federal prosecutors in Washington have charged a Texas-based accountant with concealing information from securities regulators during an investigation about his role in a corporate audit.
Prosecutors filed a one-count information against Bryan Polozola, 37, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging him with making a false statement to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission attorney.
An assistant U.S. attorney, Mary Chris Dobbie, who specializes in fraud and public corruption cases, said in charging documents (PDF) that Polozola “told SEC enforcement attorneys that he was not aware of a $49,350 payment made on his behalf to his former employer” rooted in an earlier disciplinary proceeding.
In April 2005, the enforcement department of the National Association of Securities Dealers filed a disciplinary action against Polozola. Polozola settled the case without admitting or denying the allegations. More background here.
Polozola in 2001 was a financial and operations principal with E*Trade Professional Trading LLC. Investigators said Polozola on at least four occasions in 2003 authorized wire transfers totally $49,350 from E*Trade’s bank account to a personal bank account. Polozola was barred from associating with any NASD member firm in any capacity.
Earlier this year, Polozola was terminated from BDO USA, where he had made partner in July 2010 in the firm's Dallas office.
“Bryan Polozola was employed at BDO from March 2008 to September 2011, when he was terminated for conduct that occurred prior to his employment with BDO,” the statement said.
Polozola was not immediately reached for comment Friday. A message left with his attorney, Michael Ware, a solo practitioner in Texas, was not immediately returned this morning.
Texas State Board of Public Accountancy records show Polozola has been a licensed certified public accountant in that state since 2001. The board reports on its web site that Polozola has no disciplinary history. The records also show he is a director of Polozola, Inc., in Richardson, Texas.
The alleged false statement was made during an SEC investigation of an unidentified corporation, according to court records.
Prosecutors said in charging documents that the SEC was conducting an investigation to determine whether the corporation had violated federal securities laws.
In the investigation, the SEC issued subpoenas to an unidentified auditing firm and to Polozola. Polozola, according to charging documents, was responsible for auditing hedge funds that the target corporation managed.
The audit, according to prosecutors, was “a central issue in the SEC inquiry. The SEC was taking testimony from Polozola in order to obtain information about his role in the audit process and to assess his credibility in its ongoing investigation.”
Prosecutors said that Polozola on Sept. 28 told an SEC attorney that he was not aware of the $49,350 payment made in the earlier disciplinary case. The government said Polozola knew at the time that his attorney, at Polozola’s direction, repaid the money to the former employer.
The case against Polozola is assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins. No court date is set. The filing of a criminal information suggests that Polozola could be inclined not to contest the charge at trial.