On February 4, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against two associates of Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and lawyer for Donald Trump, alleging they raised $2 million from investors by making false and misleading representations.
On January 8, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced settled charges against a Utah corporation, its principals, Mark W Wiseman and Clark J Madsen, and two securities fraud recidivists, Thomas J Robbins and Daniel J Merriman, for orchestrating two inter-related frauds resulting in approximately $11 million in investor losses to around 80 investors.
On November 12, 2020, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13959. The executive order prohibits all U.S. Investors (institutional and retail alike) from purchasing or investing in securities of companies identified by the U.S. government as “Communist Chinese military companies.” The prohibition went into effect on January 11, 2021, and immediately resulted in its first casualties, with 3 listed stocks being delisted and several OTC stocks having their symbols deleted.
On December 17, 2020, the US Department of Justice unsealed an Indictment against nine individuals charged in a “pump and dump” stock manipulation scheme involving Global Resource Energy Inc (GBEN) filed in the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
On Tuesday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a proposed plan by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to let companies raise capital through direction listing.
On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that it had settled charges against The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (CAKE) for making misleading disclosures about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business operations and financial condition.
On December 1, 2020, the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC filed a proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to adopt new listing rules related to board diversity and disclosure.
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation on Wednesday that would kick Chinese companies off U.S. stock exchanges if they do not fully comply with the U.S. auditing rules.
On December 2, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) charged disbarred attorney Richard J. Rubin and licensed attorney Thomas J. Craft with fraud for their roles in a legal opinion letter scheme to fraudulently facilitate the sale of millions of shares of microcap securities to retail investors.
2020 has been a historic year for Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) enforcement action against toxic lenders as unregistered dealers.
On November 16, 2020, Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced that he would be stepping down at the end of the year after 3 years and 238 days on the job.
Jeffrey D. Martin Charged with Manipulating Publicly Traded Stocks in Multiyear “Pump and Dump” Securities Fraud Scheme Worth Over $19 Million
On November 19, 2020, the United States Attorney William M. McSwain filed a superseded Indictment against Jeffrey D Martin, 61, of Orlando, FL. Martin was charged with conspiracy and multiple counts of securities fraud and wire fraud, related to his manipulation of several publicly-traded securities in a “pump and dump” scheme in which Martin and his co-schemers allegedly defrauded investors out of over $19 million.
Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) charged a San Francisco-based e-commerce startup and its chief executive officer with misleading investors about purported contracts with well-known consumer brands.
SEC Warns Broker-Dealers of Risks Associated with Offshore Omnibus Accounts Transacting in “Penny Stocks”
Last week, the SEC Division of Trading and Markets published a staff bulletin highlighting various risks for broker-dealers arising from certain transactions in “penny stocks” and other low-priced securities. The Commission emphasized that these risks are heightened when the identities of a foreign financial institution’s underlying customer and/or the ultimate beneficial owner of the funds and securities are unknown to a broker-dealer because of the omnibus account structure.
Last week, E*TRADE, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, which offers an electronic trading platform to trade financial assets including common stocks, announced that effective November 21, 2020, customers will no longer be able to open positions in Caveat Emptor securities due to the risks associated with trading shares in these companies.
On November 13, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced an award of over $1.1 million to a whistleblower whose independent analysis led the staff to look at new conduct during an ongoing investigation.
The SEC adopted amendments to: (1) establish a new integration framework for issuers to move from one securities offering exemption to another; (2) increase the current offering and investment limits for Regulation A Offerings, Regulation Crowdfunding – Regulation CF and Rule 504 offerings; and (3) amend “Test-the-Waters” and “Demo Day” offering communications rules.
On October 6, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) charged businessman and computer programmer, John McAfee, for promoting investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs) to his Twitter followers without disclosing that he was paid to do so. McAfee’s bodyguard, Jimmy Watson, Jr., was also charged for his role in the alleged scheme.
Edward T. Kelly, Aceto Corporation, Insider Trading, Lakewood Ranch Florida
On October 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered a final consent judgment against Nicholas Tornello, a former senior accountant at Hill International, Inc.
At its October 7, 2020 open meeting, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) voted to propose exemptive relief for certain finders engaged in raising capital from accredited investors. If the proposal is adopted, it would allow them to receive commissions and other transaction-based compensation without registration as a broker-dealer under Section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).
On September 16, 2020, SEC amended Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11 and Form 211. Changes to Rule 15c2-11 were proposed last year. The OTC Markets will be impacted by the changes as will penny stock issuers on the OTCQB and OTC Pink tiers.
Online Platforms for Rule 506(c) Offerings The most common exemption from SEC Registration is Rule 506(c) of Regulation D which provides for two unique exemptions from SEC registration that allow the issuer to raise unlimited amounts of capital… Read More