Blog Posts Tagged With SEC

In re Pinnacle Accountancy Group, PLLC, and Douglas W. Child, CPA (A.P. June 5, 2019, Settled)

Action against Respondents, an accounting firm and its managing partner, for alleged failure to register with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).  According to the SEC, Respondent accounting firm was required to register with the PCAOB in order to perform audit reports and did not do so.  The SEC alleges that Respondent managing partner aided and abetted that violation by directing the firm to conduct business without registering.  Respondent managing partner has agreed to
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SEC v. Kik Interactive Inc. (S.D.N.Y. June 4, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendant, a technology company that offers an instant messaging application, for an alleged illegal offering of digital tokens.  According to the SEC, Defendant financed a new line of business by offering digital tokens to the public.  The SEC claims that Defendant marketed these tokens as an investment opportunity and assured investors that they would become more valuable as demand for the tokens rose.  The SEC alleges that at the time of the offering
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Follow-on APs, Suspensions, and Bars

  • In re Michael T. Rand, CPA (A.P. June 4, 2019, Contested)
  • In re Kimberly Pine Kitts (A.P. June 6, 2019, Settled)
  • In re Jose G. Ramirez, Jr. (A.P. June 6, 2019, Contested)
  • In re David S. Goulding (A.P. June 10, 2019, Settled)
  • In re Andy Altahawi (A.P. June 10, 2019, Settled)
  • In re Anthony G. Blumberg (A.P. June 12, 2019, Settled)
  • In re Jovannie Aquino (A.P. June 13, 2019, Settled)
  • In re Hugh Dunkerley (A.P.

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SEC v. Peter Baker, et al. (N.D. Ga. June 4, 2019, Partially Settled, Partially Contested)

Action against Defendants, two individuals and corporations under their control, for an alleged fraudulent investment scheme.  According to the SEC, Defendants sold investors “prime bank instruments” that they promised would generate large returns.  In reality, the SEC alleges, the instruments were fictitious, and Defendants misappropriated investors’ funds for personal expenses.  One individual Defendant and two Defendant corporations have agreed to pay amounts to be determined by the court.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release
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In re Deer Park Road Management Company, LP, and Scott E. Burg (A.P. June 4, 2019, Settled)

Action against Respondents, an investment adviser and its Chief Investment Officer, for alleged failure to adopt and implement adequate compliance policies and procedures relating to fund asset valuation.  According to the SEC, Respondents’ policies for conforming the firm’s valuations to GAAP were ineffective and, as a result, Respondents may have undervalued client assets.  Defendant investment adviser has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5 million, and Defendant CIO has agreed to pay a civil
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In re Anthony Savino (A.P. June 3, 2019, Settled); In re Joseph Palermo (A.P. June 3, 2019, Settled)

Actions against Respondents, a day trader and his friend, for an alleged manipulative trading scheme.  According to the SEC, Respondent trader used his friend’s brokerage account to place orders for securities to artificially inflate the price, which Respondent trader then sold at the higher price.  The SEC alleges that Respondents misrepresented the identity of the trader to the firm that held the brokerage account when the firm raised concerns about trading patterns.  Respondent trader has
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SEC v. Syed Arham Arbab, et al. (M.D. Ga. May 31, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a recent college graduate and his companies, for an alleged Ponzi scheme.  According to the SEC, Defendants offered investments in a hedge fund primarily to students and recent graduates of his college, promising large returns.  The SEC alleges that no such hedge fund existed, and Defendants instead used investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors and pay personal expenses.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release

SEC Press Release
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In re David A. Altom and Gabriel V. Graven (A.P. May 29, 2019, Settled)

Action against Respondents, a senior director of health and safety at an oilfield services company and his neighbor, for alleged insider trading.  According to the SEC, Respondent director told his neighbor about an upcoming acquisition of his company before the transaction occurred.  The SEC alleges that the neighbor then traded while in possession of this material nonpublic information and tipped another unnamed trader.  Respondent director has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $85,000.  Respondent
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SEC v. George Slowinski (N.D. Ill. May 29, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendant, principal and owner of a real estate investment company, for alleged offering fraud. According to the SEC, Defendant informed investors that they would receive high returns on investments pooled to develop and resell real estate. The SEC alleges that Defendant instead used investor funds to pay hidden fees and commissions and misappropriated the funds for other projects.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release
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SEC v. Donald A. Milne III and Instaprin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (D.N.J May 29, 2019, Settled)

Action against Defendants, a pharmaceutical company and its CEO, and Relief Defendant, a defunct company owned by Defendant CEO, for alleged fraud on investors. According to the SEC, Defendant CEO misrepresented that investor funds would be used for Defendant company’s operating expenses. The SEC alleges that Defendant CEO misappropriated these funds. Defendants have agreed to pay $3,628,325 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. Defendant company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2,771,493. Defendant individual
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In re Stephen Brandon Anderson (A.P. May 28, 2019, Settled)

Action against Respondent, an investment adviser, for allegedly overcharging customer advisory fees.  According to the SEC, Respondent falsely informed clients about the reason for transfers of their assets and made material misstatements in SEC filings.  The SEC also alleges that Respondent failed to implement required policies and procedures.  Respondent has agreed to a three-year supervisory and compliance bar and to pay disgorgement of $367,176, prejudgment interest of $38,205, and a civil penalty of $100,000.

SEC
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SEC v. David Sims, et al. (C.D. Cal. May 23, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendants, president of an equities company, his partner, three companies that they controlled, and their lawyer, for alleged fraud on investors. According to the SEC, Defendant president and Defendant partner falsely told investors that their funds would be invested in non-existent financial instruments and large currency trading platforms. The SEC alleges that Defendants misappropriated investor funds and that Defendant lawyer aided and abetted the fraud.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release
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SEC v. Savraj Gat-Aura (a/k/a Samuel Aura a/k/a/ Sam Aura) and Core Agents, Ltd. (d/b/a Core Agents International, Ltd) (S.D.N.Y. May 23, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a representative of an office space rental company and a company that he used to recruit sales agents, for alleged aiding and abetting of a fraudulent investment scheme. According to the SEC, Defendant representative provided false and misleading materials to sales agents in order to recruit them to sell fraudulent investments in the rental company. Defendant representative has been charged in a parallel criminal action.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release
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SEC v. Robert C. Morgan, et al. (W.D.N.Y. May 22, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a real estate developer, his fund management company, and his acquisition company, for alleged misappropriation of investor funds. According to the SEC, Defendants secured investors by falsely representing that their funds would be used to purchase real estate. The SEC alleges that Defendants instead used investor funds to pay off other investors and unrelated loans.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release 

SEC Press Release
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SEC v. Daniel Pacheco (C.D. Cal. May 22, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendant and Relief Defendants, the controlling member of a marketing company, one other individual, and five LLCs, for an alleged pyramid scheme and unregistered offering of securities. According to the SEC, Defendant sold instructional e-commerce packages that he falsely represented would allow investors to obtain cryptocurrency rebates and recruitment bonuses. The SEC alleges that Defendant failed to pay these rebates and bonuses and instead misappropriated investor funds.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release

SEC
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SEC v. Mark “Christian” Ramsey (E.D. Pa. May 21, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendant, the friend and business partner of a former football player charged with insider trading, for alleged participation in the same insider trading scheme.  According to the SEC, Defendant received tips from a former investment banker, also previously charged by the SEC, for information related to upcoming corporate acquisitions and traded on the former football player’s behalf while in possession of that information.  Defendant has also been charged in a parallel criminal action.
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SEC v. David N. Osegueda, et al. (C.D. Cal. May 20, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a real estate agent, a beverage marketer and developer, a corporate consultant and promoter, and a bank employee, for an alleged pump-and-dump scheme. According to the SEC, Defendants artificially increased the stock price and trading volume of a beverage and cannabis company owned by two of the Defendants by promoting the company through false and misleading statements. The SEC alleges that once the price and trading volume of the stock artificially rose,
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In re Wilson-Davis & Co., Inc. (A.P. May 15, 2019, Settled)

Action against Respondent, a broker-dealer, for alleged failure to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).  According to the SEC, Respondents failed to file SARs for certain penny stock transactions that involved suspicious trading patterns.  Respondent has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $300,000.

SEC Order

SEC Administrative Summary
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SEC v. Andrew I. Farmer, et al. (S.D. Tex. May 15, 2019, Settled)

Action against Defendants, five individuals, for an alleged pump-and-dump scheme. According to the SEC, Defendants promoted penny stocks in companies that they controlled and participated in coordinated trading between these companies to imitate market interest and increase share prices. The SEC alleges that Defendants then sold the penny stocks when the price artificially rose. Defendants have agreed to pay total disgorgement of $10.25 million and prejudgment interest of $895,487. Defendants have also pleaded guilty in
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SEC v. Collector’s Coffee, Inc., d/b/a Collectors Café and Mykalai Kontilai (S.D.N.Y. May 14, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a collectibles auction company and its CEO, for alleged fraud on investors.  According to the SEC, Defendants solicited investments based on false claims about its inventory and the number of dealers signed up with the Defendant company.  The SEC also alleges that Defendant CEO misappropriated investor funds to pay for personal expenses and provided falsified documents to the SEC.

SEC Complaint

SEC Litigation Release
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In re NextBlock Global Ltd. and Alex Tapscott (A.P. May 14, 2019, Settled)

Action against Respondents, a blockchain company and its principal, for alleged offering fraud. According to the SEC, Respondents solicited investor funds based on false claims that prominent members of the blockchain community served as advisors to Respondent company. Respondent principal has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000. The SEC did not impose a penalty on Respondent company due to its payment of approximately $520,000 under a settlement agreement with the Ontario Securities Commission.
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SEC v. Natural Diamonds Investment Co., et al. (S.D. Fla. May 13, 2019, Contested)

Action against Defendants, a diamond company, an investment company, a cryptocurrency platform, and three of their owners and executives, for an alleged Ponzi scheme.  According to the SEC, Defendants offered investment opportunities in diamond sales and a diamond-backed cryptocurrency that they claimed was risk free.  The SEC alleges that Defendants instead misappropriated these funds to pay other investors and for their own personal expenses.

SEC Complaint 

SEC Litigation Release 

SEC Press Release
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SEC v. Lloyd Schuman and Dane James (W.D. Tenn. May 9, 2019, Settled)

Action against Defendants, internal auditors at a paper company and a hospitality company, for alleged insider trading.  According to the SEC, Defendant paper company auditor learned material nonpublic information about a planned acquisition by his employer, purchased shares while in possession of that information, and tipped a relative about the upcoming acquisition.  According to the SEC, this Defendant also learned material nonpublic information from the other Defendant auditor and similarly bought shares in that company
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