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A Connecticut federal jury on Friday found former Connecticut State Senate leader William A. DiBella and his consulting firm liable for aiding and abetting the state’s former treasurer in a fraud scheme. The jury’s finding that DiBella, who is the former majority leader of the Connecticut State Senate, violated federal securities law sends a strong message that misdeeds by public officials will not be tolerated, said David Bergers, director of the SEC’s Boston regional office. SEC v. DiBella, No. 04-01342 (D. Conn.) “DiBella’s conduct in connection with the former treasurer’s breach of his fiduciary duty to the investors in the state’s pension fund violated the public trust,” Bergers said. According to the commission’s complaint, former state treasurer Paul J. Silvester arranged for DiBella to receive a percentage of $75 million in state pension funds invested with a private equity firm. Silvester allegedly also increased the state’s investment in the private equity account from $25 million to $75 million to boost DiBella’s fee. The SEC said DiBella committed aiding and abetting violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 for his role in the scheme. The SEC is seeking disgorgement of the funds by DiBella and his company North Cove Ventures LLC, a permanent bar prohibiting DiBella from serving as an officer or director of a public company and unspecified civil penalties. DiBella’s trial attorney, James A. Wade of Hartford, Conn.-based Robinson & Cole could not be reached for comment.

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