Crucible’s Moore Charged by U.S. With Obstructing SEC Exam

Charles Moore, chief executive officer of Crucible Capital Group Inc., a New York-based broker-dealer, was charged with obstructing a regulatory exam being conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York.

Moore, 62, was arrested on charges that he repeatedly caused Crucible, which he controlled, to falsely report its net capital above the threshold of $5,000 mandated by regulators when it was actually it was in debt.

The U.S. said Crucible held itself out as a “boutique investment banking firm” that helped small businesses raise capital and financing. In fact the company, a registered broker-dealer with the SEC, maintained no customer securities trading accounts, Bharara’s office said today.

Moore allegedly directed an employee to falsify invoices from vendors by removing references to past-due balances and deliver the faked documents to the SEC, which was conducting a regulatory probe of Crucible that started in 2013.

“The SEC is entitled to the truth when it examines the books and records of institutions as it seeks to protect investors and our markets. Broker-dealers, from large institutions to boutique firms, have a duty to make accurate financial reports,” Bharara said. “As the charges set forth, Charles Moore attempted to blow smoke in the eyes of the SEC, which was also an attempt to deceive his clients, and such charges come with appropriately hefty maximum sentences.”

Moore is charged with making false filings, obstruction and making false statements to SEC employees. The obstruction and false filing charges both carry a maximum term of as long as 20 years in prison, Bharara’s office said.

A voice-mail message left at Crucible seeking comment about Moore’s case, wasn’t immediately returned. Moore was scheduled to make an initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn in Manhattan. A lawyer for him couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The case is U.S. v. Charles J. Moore, 14-MAG-1729, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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