• Connecticut man sued over claims he duped women he met online
  • Agency says he touted lucrative plan to make surgical gloves

Wall Street’s main regulator isn’t in the business of giving romantic advice, but a lawsuit announced Friday might offer up this tip: Don’t kiss or invest after the first date.

A Connecticut man and his firm have been sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which says he duped 55 people, including six women he met through an online dating website, by getting them to invest in a purportedly lucrative scheme to make high-tech surgical gloves.

Thomas J. Connerton raised more than $2.3 million during a decade-long unlawful offering of stakes in Safety Technologies LLC, the SEC said in a complaint filed in federal court this week. He told investors that the company was on the verge of a deal that would lead to a large payout, when in reality no such deal was even being negotiated, the agency said.

“We charge Connerton with lying about the state of his business and exploiting personal connections to lure in investors,” Paul G. Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office, said in a statement. “Investors beware: a rosy picture of a business that’s about to take off could still lead to a total loss of investment.”

Connerton, who raised more than half of the investor money from the six women and 14 of their friends and family members, drained the company’s bank account by writing checks to himself, including one for a $20,000 engagement ring for one of his online dates, the SEC said.

The agency, which is seeking a jury trial in the case, wants Connerton to pay a fine and disgorge all ill-gotten gains, according to the complaint. Calls to phone numbers listed to Connerton weren’t answered.

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