Blog Posts Tagged With Ponzi Schemes, Offering Frauds, and Other Scams

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SEC v. Niel Martin Nielson (D.D.C. May 25, 2018, Settled); SEC v. Carolyne Susan Johnson (S.D. Ohio May 25, 2018, Settled)

Action against Defendants, the CEO of a microcap company and its treasurer, for allegedly defrauding investors in a penny stock scheme.  The SEC alleges that Defendants entered a series of sham contracts and made material misstatements to investors regarding the company’s activities.  Defendants have agreed to permanent injunctions and to bars from serving as officers or directors of public companies.

SEC Litigation Release ... Continue Reading

In re Arthur Kaplan (A.P. May 24, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, assistant to the sole officer and director of a microcap company, for participation in an alleged fraudulent private offering.  The SEC alleges that Respondent recruited participants for sham private offerings and facilitated the transfer of shares controlled by his principal.  The SEC further alleges that after covertly gaining a controlling share of a microcap company, Respondent inflated trading volume and price before exiting his position.  Respondent agreed to cease and desist from ... Continue Reading

CFTC v. Jin Choi, et al. (C.D. Cal. May 24, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendant, an unregistered commodity trading advisor, for allegedly making material misstatements regarding his experience, registration status, and use of client funds and for failing to register.  According to the CFTC, Defendant falsely stated that he had trading experience and was registered as an adviser during solicitations to FOREX investors and misappropriated investor funds for personal expenses.

CFTC Press Release ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Bud Genius, Inc., et al. (S.D. Cal. May 21, 2018, Settled); SEC v. Taylor Moffitt, et al. (N.D. Iowa May 22, 2018, Settled)

Actions against Defendants, a medical marijuana company, its CEO, and its statutory underwriters, for allegedly making misleading claims regarding the company’s business operations and financial condition, including a partnership with comedian Tommy Chong.  The SEC further alleges that Defendants falsified financial statements and made an unregistered offering of securities.  Defendant CEO has agreed to disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $158, 829.  Defendant statutory underwriters agreed to pay, jointly and severally, disgorgement and prejudgment interest of ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Bret Borland (S.D.N.Y. May 18, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendant, a real estate developer, in connection with an alleged scheme to raise money for construction of an airport by over-pledging collateral on secured promissory notes.  According to the SEC, Defendant used approximately $5.98 million of $21.9 million of investor funds on personal expenses.  The SEC further alleges that Defendant used collateral that was pledged to prior investors to recruit new ones.  Parallel criminal charges have been filed.

SEC Litigation Release

SEC Press ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Parmar et al. (D.N.J. May 16, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, owners of a medical billing company, in connection with alleged misrepresentations related to a “go-private” sale of a publicly traded company.  The SEC alleges that Defendants induced an investor to buy the company based on misrepresentations regarding historical and projected revenues.  The SEC further alleges that Defendants created paper subsidiaries and reported income and revenue from these subsidiaries to increase the value of the company.

SEC Litigation Release

SEC Press Release ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Francisco A. Villena, et al. (S.D.N.Y. May 15, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, multiple individuals, in connection with a scheme to effect unregistered sales of and manipulate the market for shares of a nonpublic microcap company.  According to the SEC, Defendants conducted private sales of unregistered securities and made them appear to be available for sale to the public.  The SEC further alleges that Defendants used shell brokerage accounts to conduct illegal trades that moved the price of the securities upwards and created the impression ... Continue Reading

In re Jason J. Lee and Law Offices of Jason J. Lee & Associates (A.P. May 10, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondents, an attorney and his law firm, for allegedly making solicitations in connection with EB-5 immigrant visa investment securities without registering as required.  Respondents have agreed to pay disgorgement of $275,000, prejudgment interest of $25,800, and a civil penalty of $37,500.

SEC Order ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Falls Event Center, LLC and Steven L. Down (D. Utah May 10, 2018, Settled)

Action against Defendants, a company specializing in the management of event centers and its CEO, for allegedly making material misrepresentations to investors concerning Defendant company’s profitability.  Defendant CEO has agreed to settle the SEC’s charges and to pay a civil penalty of $150,000.

SEC Litigation Release ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Keenan Gracey (C.D. Cal. May 9, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendant for allegedly misappropriating investor funds in connection with a fraudulent IPO.  According to the SEC, Defendant solicited individuals for a “pre-IPO” sale of securities in a privately owned company that was not planning an IPO and in which the Defendant did not own any interest.  The SEC alleges that Defendant raised approximately $2.4 million through the scheme.

SEC Litigation Release ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Keith Houlihan (S.D. Fla. May 4, 2018, Settled)

Action against Defendant, a former microcap company president, for allegedly making misrepresentations and operating a boiler room to solicit investors.  The SEC alleges that, in addition to making filings with the SEC that contained false statements regarding the microcap company’s financing, Defendant used investor funds to pay undisclosed sales commissions to boiler room sales agents and for personal expenses.  Defendant has agreed to a lifetime bar.

SEC Litigation Release

Related to Mesa, Sizer ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Adam Tracy, et al. (N.D. Ga. May 1, 2018, Settled)

Action against Defendants, a securities lawyer and his law firm, in connection with an alleged fraudulent scheme to conceal the identity of a company’s principal control person, who had previously been convicted of securities fraud.  According to the SEC, Defendants were retained by the control person to file registration statements with the SEC for an initial public offering and agreed to conceal his involvement by omitting his name and naming others as principal officers and ... Continue Reading

In re Andy Z. Fan (A.P. Apr. 25, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent in connection with his purchase of the securities of several undisclosed “blank check” companies with the intent to use the companies for future reverse mergers.  According to the SEC, Respondent used nominees to conceal his beneficial ownership of functionally all the issued securities of the blank check companies.  The SEC further alleges that Respondent authorized false press releases and financials and engaged in manipulative trading in the public markets to maintain the ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Diane J. Harrison, et al. (M.D. Fla. Apr. 25, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, an attorney, her husband, and their friend, in connection with two microcap schemes involving undisclosed “blank check” companies.  According to the SEC, Defendants attorney and husband manufactured several microcap issuers with the intent to sell them based on their status as public companies with purportedly unrestricted shares available for resale in the public markets.  The SEC further alleges that Defendants attorney and husband created the false appearance that the companies were pursuing ... Continue Reading

SEC v. John Jumper (W.D. Tenn. Apr. 17, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendant businessman for alleged misappropriation of funds from a company pension plan.  According to the SEC, Defendant misappropriated funds by forging documents, including resolutions of the Board of Directors, and used the misappropriated funds for personal and business expenses.

SEC Litigation Release   ... Continue Reading

In re Wellness Center USA, Inc. (A.P. Apr. 12, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a vitamin and nutritional supplement distributor, for allegedly issuing false and misleading financials to conceal a scheme by its CEO to misappropriate investor funds.  The SEC alleges that Respondent’s CEO received compensation in cash and shares; however, Respondent issued public statements indicating that its CEO had elected not to receive remuneration for his services.  Respondent agreed to a cease-and-desist order.

SEC Order

Related to SEC v. Kandelapas ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Andrew J. Kandelapas (N.D. Ill. Apr. 12, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendant, the CEO of a vitamin and nutritional supplement distributor, for allegedly making false and misleading statements in the company’s SEC filings and press releases and manipulating the company’s stock.  According to the SEC, Defendant took unauthorized withdrawals from the company and concealed his actions by causing the company to characterize his withdrawals as salary, prepayments, or loans in its financials.  In addition, the SEC alleges that Defendant caused the company to issue ... Continue Reading

In re Matthew T. Mushlin (A.P. Apr. 12, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, the managing member of a consulting company that purportedly helps companies identify business and capital raising opportunities, for allegedly collecting commissions in connection with unregistered sales of penny stock shares and placing trades to stabilize or increase the price of the penny stocks.  Respondent has agreed to pay disgorgement of $232,925.00, prejudgment interest of $23,101.36, and a civil money penalty of $240,000.00.

SEC Order ... Continue Reading

SEC v. The Lifepay Group, LLC, et al. (S.D. Tex. Apr. 6, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, two companies and their principals, for allegedly engaging in a $2.4 million Ponzi scheme and a $1.4 million offering fraud targeting retirees.  According to the SEC, Defendants made unrealistic claims regarding future profits to elderly potential investors and used funds invested in retirement accounts to make payouts to other investors and for personal expenses.  The SEC further alleges Defendants made misrepresentations to investors regarding a proposed offering relating to an oil-and-gas company ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Peter H. Pocklington et al. (C.D. Cal. Apr. 5, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a former NHL team owner and founder of a medical device company and associated persons and entities, for allegedly making misrepresentations to potential investors regarding Defendant Pocklington’s status as a convicted felon and how investor funds would be used.  The SEC alleges that Defendants used boiler rooms to cold-call potential investors and then misappropriated investor funds to pay for personal expenses.

SEC Litigation Release

SEC Press Release ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Longfin Corp., et al. (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 4, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a blockchain technology company and associated executives, for allegedly misleading investors regarding the Defendant company’s purported acquisition of a cryptocurrency business and selling large blocks of restricted shares while the stock price was elevated, netting over $27 million in proceeds. The SEC has obtained a court order freezing Defendants’ assets.

SEC Litigation Release

SEC Press Release ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Gregory M. Bercowy (M.D. Fla. Apr. 3, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendant, an individual associated with a registered investment adviser, for alleged market manipulation.  The SEC alleges that Defendant accumulated penny stock shares valued at $2.8 million and subsequently placed and cancelled a large number of orders to buy the shares at higher prices in an effort to artificially inflate the price of the stock.

SEC Litigation Release ... Continue Reading

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