SEC v. Jared Gabriel Forrester (S.D. Ga. Nov. 30, 2018, Settled)

Action against Defendant, the purported president and CEO of an energy company, for an alleged fraudulent offering and sale of securities in the energy company. According to the SEC, Defendant failed to disclose to investors that two individuals with previous felony convictions were actually in charge of the energy company. According to the SEC, Defendant also misrepresented that he had a substantial background in oil and gas development. The SEC further alleges that Defendant assisted
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In re Khaled Khaled (A.P. Nov. 29, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a celebrity music producer, for alleged touting violations in connection with initial coin offerings. According to the SEC, Respondent promoted three initial coin offerings on his social media accounts without disclosing that the issuers were compensating him for the publicity.  Defendant has agreed to pay disgorgement of $50,000, prejudgment interest of $2,725.72, and a civil penalty of $100,000.

SEC Order

SEC Press Release
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SEC v. Eric T. Landis and Ridgeview Capital Partners LLC (D. Mass. Nov. 29, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a self-described penny stock promoter and an entity that he controlled, for alleged manipulative trading in microcap stocks. According to the SEC, Defendant promoter falsely claimed that he would distribute promotional materials for stocks in microcap companies. The SEC alleges that Defendant promoter instead traded microcap shares himself using multiple accounts in order to appear to be generating business.

SEC Litigation Release

SEC Press Release

SEC Complaint
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In re Floyd Mayweather Jr. (A.P. Nov. 29, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a professional boxer, for alleged touting violations in connection with initial coin offerings.  According to the SEC, Respondent promoted three initial coin offerings on his social media accounts without disclosing that the issuers were compensating him for the publicity.  Respondent has agreed to pay disgorgement of $300,000, prejudgment interest of $14,775.67, and a civil penalty of $300,000.

SEC Order

SEC Press Release
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SEC v. Morrie Tobin, et al. (D. Mass. Nov. 27, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, two attorneys, the head of a financial services company, and the owner of an environmental packaging company and pharmaceutical company, for their alleged role in a scheme to manipulate and illegally sell stock in the Defendant owner’s companies. According to the SEC, Defendants concealed the Defendant owner’s control of the companies and his sale of company shares. The SEC also alleges that Defendants made hidden payments to a promoter to encourage investment
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In re Retirement Capital Strategies, Inc. (A.P. Nov. 19, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a registered investment adviser, for alleged failure to apply advisory fee discounts to certain client accounts contrary to Respondent’s disclosures, representations, and advisory agreements.  According to the SEC, the improperly calculated advisory fees resulted in overcharges to certain clients. Defendant has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000.

SEC Order

SEC Administrative Summary
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In re Vantage Drilling International (A.P. Nov. 19, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a drilling company, for alleged violations of the FCPA’s internal accounting control provisions by its predecessor, Vantage Drilling Company (“VDC”). The SEC alleges that VDC failed to implement an adequate system of internal controls and, as a result, made payments to a former outside director that the former director may have used to bribe foreign officials. Defendant has agreed to pay disgorgement of $5 million.

SEC Order

SEC Administrative Summary
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In re Paragon Coin, Inc. (A.P. Nov. 16, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a company established to implement blockchain technology in the cannabis industry, for an alleged unregistered offering. According to the SEC, Defendant publicly offered and sold digital tokens to raise capital without registering the offering or attempting to qualify for an exemption to the registration requirements.  Defendant has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $250,000.

SEC Press Release

SEC Order
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In re CarrierEQ, Inc., d/b/a Airfox (A.P. Nov. 16, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a mobile technology business, for an alleged unregistered offering.  According to the SEC, Defendant publicly offered and sold digital tokens to raise capital without registering the offering or attempting to qualify for an exemption to the registration requirements.  Defendant agreed to pay a civil penalty of $250,000.

SEC Press Release

SEC Order
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SEC v. Giga Entertainment Media, Inc., et al. (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 15, 2018, Partially Settled, Partially Contested)

Action against Defendants, a software development company and five of its former officers and directors, for alleged fraud against investors. According to the SEC, Defendants purchased sham downloads in order to improve the rating of their app and made false statements to investors about the reasons for the rating increase. The SEC alleges that Defendants also concealed from investors an individual Defendant’s prior mail fraud conviction. Two individual Defendants have agreed to pay penalties of
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SEC v. Mark Burnett, et al. (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 15, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, an alleged boiler room and five individuals, for alleged fraudulent manipulation of stock prices. According to the SEC, the five individual Defendants engaged in manipulative and concealed trading practices and hired the Defendant corporation to solicit investors. Four of the individual Defendants have been charged in a parallel criminal action. A related action by the SEC against the Defendant corporation and 14 other defendants is pending.

SEC Litigation Release
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SEC v. Giga Entertainment Media, Inc., et al. (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 15, 2018, Partially Settled, Partially Contested)

Action against Defendants, a software development company and five of its former officers and directors, for alleged fraud against investors.  According to the SEC, Defendants purchased sham downloads in order to improve the rating of their app and made false statements to investors about the reasons for the rating increase.  The SEC alleges that Defendants also concealed from investors an individual Defendant’s prior mail fraud conviction.  Two individual Defendants have agreed to pay penalties of
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CFTC Releases Annual Enforcement Results for Fiscal Year 2018 (Nov. 15, 2018)

The CFTC’s Division of Enforcement released its annual report reviewing enforcement actions from the 2018 fiscal year. According to the report, the Commission brought 83 enforcement actions and obtained more than $950 million in monetary sanctions.  The report noted key initiatives that began or continued during fiscal year 2018, including cooperation and self-reporting, data analytics, and the development of specialized task forces focused on four different substantive areas:  (1) spoofing and manipulative trading, (2) virtual
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CFTC v. Algointeractive Inc., et al. (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 13, 2018, Consent Order)

Action against Defendants, a hedge fund and its two principals, for alleged fraudulent solicitations and misappropriation of investor funds. According to the CFTC, Defendants misrepresented to investors their level of experience and plans to invest funds in futures contracts. The CFTC alleges that Defendants instead used investor funds for their personal benefit and concealed losses in communications to investors. The CFTC also alleges that Defendants failed to register their commodity pool. One Defendant principal has
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SEC v. Gaylen D. Rust and Rust Rare Coin, Inc. (D. Utah Nov. 15, 2018, Contested) and CFTC and Utah Division of Securities v. Rust Rare Coin Inc. and Gaylen Dean Rust (D. Utah Nov. 13, 2018, Contested)

Actions against Defendants, a trader and a rare coin company, for an alleged fraudulent investment scheme. According to the SEC and CFTC, Defendants misled investors by making false statements about a silver trading program. The SEC and CFTC allege that Defendants used investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors and to pay for Defendant trader’s personal and business expenses.

SEC Litigation Release

SEC Complaint 

CFTC Press Release 

CFTC Complaint
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