In re Mark A. Karow and Legend Securities, Inc. (A.P. May 15, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondents, a registered broker-dealer and a former registered representatives, for allegedly engaging in distribution of unregistered securities.  The SEC alleges that Respondent representative offered and sold approximately 6 million unregistered securities and that Respondent broker-dealer failed to reasonably supervise its registered representative and maintain business records.  Respondent representative has agreed to a bar and to pay disgorgement of $67,089.03, prejudgment interest of $7,313.01, and a civil penalty of $20,000.

SEC Order

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In re Timothy C. Scarpino (A.P. May 15, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a former registered representative at a broker-dealer, for allegedly engaging in distribution of unregistered securities.  According to the SEC, Respondent offered and sold approximately 8.2 million unregistered securities and ignored red flags indicating an unregistered distribution of securities.  Respondent has agreed to a five year bar with a right to reapply.  SEC Order

Related to Karow

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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. Premium Point Investments, LP, et al. (S.D.N.Y. May 9, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendants, an investment adviser, its CEO, a former partner, and a former trader for allegedly inflating the value of private funds the firm advised by secretly sending trades to a broker-dealer in return for inflated quotes on mortgage-backed securities.  The SEC also alleges that Defendant used “imputed” mid-point valuations in a manner that inflated the value of securities and further exaggerated returns.

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

In re Barcelona Strategies, LLC and Mario Hinojoso (A.P. May 9, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondents, a municipal advisor and its principal, for allegedly misrepresenting Respondent principal’s experience and qualifications and failing to disclose conflicts of interest.  The SEC alleges that Respondents failed to disclose that Respondent principal had no advisory experience and that he had recently been employed by the advisory client’s bond counsel.  Respondents have agreed to pay, jointly and severally, disgorgement of $362,606.91 and prejudgment interest of $19,514.37.  The corporate Respondent has agreed to pay ... Continue Reading

Visium Asset Management, LP (A.P. May 8, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, an investment adviser, in connection with an alleged mismarking scheme involving two of its portfolio managers.  According to the SEC, the managers used sham broker quotes to inflate the value of securities held by a credit fund advised by Respondent, causing the credit fund to falsely report inflated returns, overstate its net asset value, misclassify certain distressed assets, and overpay performance and management fees.  The SEC further alleges that Respondent issued statements ... Continue Reading

Delinquent Filings (May 2018)

  • In re Content Check Holdings, Inc. (A.P. May 8, 2018, Contested)
  • In re Longwei Petroleum Investment Limited (A.P. May 10, 2018, Contested)
  • In re Grey Fox Holding Corp. (f/k/a Gray Fox Petroleum Corp.), et al. (A.P. May 14, 2018, Contested)
  • In re Hedgebrook, et al. (A.P. May 15, 2018, Contested)
  • In re Sonora Resources Corp. (A.P. May 15, 2018, Contested)
  • In re America Greener Technologies, Inc., et al. (A.P. May 16, 2018, Contested)
  • In re
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In re Steven Ku (A.P. May 8, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondent, the Chief Financial Officer of a registered investment adviser, for alleged failure to reasonably supervise portfolio managers with respect to valuation of securities owned by a credit fund.  The SEC alleges that Respondent failed to respond appropriately to red flags in the course of monitoring two employees who engaged in a mismarking scheme to inflate securities valuations, including with respect to the employees’ frequent use of price overrides.  Respondent has agreed to ... Continue Reading

SEC v. Bovorn Rungruangnavarat (N.D. Ill. May 4, 2018, Contested)

Action against Defendant, the friend of an investment banker, for allegedly trading while in possession of confidential information regarding the 2013 acquisition of a pork company by a China-based meat and food processing company.  The SEC alleges that Defendant learned about the acquisition from the investment banker, who was working on the deal, and purchased shares of the target before selling them after the public announcement of the deal, realizing profits of $560,000.  The SEC ... Continue Reading

In re Winter, Kloman, Moter & Repp, S.C., et al. (A.P. May 4, 2018, Settled)

Action against Respondents, a certified public accounting firm, the manager of its financial group, and one of its employees, in connection with alleged misconduct in completing audits for a fund client affiliated with an investment adviser.  The SEC alleges that Respondents prepared the financial statements that they then audited and had a direct relationship with the investment adviser affiliate, and that Respondent firm was not subject to regular inspection by the PCAOB at the time ... Continue Reading

SEC v. David A. Zimliki and Russel P. Schiefer (M.D. Penn. May 4, 2018, Settled)

Action against Defendants, two friends of an investment banker, for allegedly trading while in possession of confidential information regarding the merger of a potato chip manufacturer with a privately held snack company.  The SEC alleges that Defendants learned about the acquisition from the banker, who was working on the deal, and purchased shares of the target before selling the shares after the public announcement of the deal, realizing profits of $9,319 and $5,877, respectively.  Defendants ... 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

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