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Stories of Interest
- This Family Bet It All on Bitcoin
- Clearinghouses Pass CFTC Liquidity Stress Tests
- President Trump Admits He’s Trying to Kill Obamacare. That’s Illegal.
- Trump Plunges Down List of ‘America’s Richest’
- Is Trump’s “Foreclosure King” in Over His Head?
- FBI Arrests NCAA Basketball Coaches and Adidas Rep in Bribery Probe Involving Recruitment
- Equifax CEO Steps Down Amid Hacking Scandal
- Litigation Costs to Rub Salt in RBS Investor Wounds
- RIAs Poised to Land Wirehouse Recruits - Dan Jamieson
- Citibank and U.K. Affiliate to Pay $550K Penalty for Swap Data Reporting Violations - CFTC
- AIG to Restructure into 3 New Units, Marking CEO's First Big Move
- Accounting Firm Deloitte Says It Suffered Cyberattack (subsc reqd)
- Upcoming FINRA Board Meeting and FINRA360 Update
- Elizabeth Warren Lifts Hold on Trump DOJ Antitrust Nominee
- Bigger Mergers Narrow Indy Reps' Options, Alter IBD Channel - Dan Jamieson
- Dentons to Merge with U.K.'s Murray & Spens
- BigLaw Hogan Lovells Announces Hundreds of Buyouts, Layoffs - Almost 500 Affected
- Faith-Based Advisor Censured for Selling Class A Shares to Clergy
- After FINRA Bar, CFP Board Suspends Texas Advisor
- iCapital Network to Acquire U.S. Private Equity Access Fund Platform from Deutsche Bank
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NEWSLETTERS & ALERTS
SEC Cracks Down on Fake Stock Tip Posts
The SEC took enforcement actions against 27 individuals and entities behind various alleged stock promotion schemes. In each case, writers allegedly posted bullish articles about companies on the internet that appeared to be objective and impartial but were, in reality, nothing more than paid advertisements.
SEC investigators uncovered alleged scenarios in which public companies hired promoters or communications firms to generate publicity for their stocks, and those firms hired writers to publish articles that did not publicly disclose the payments from the companies. More than 250 articles specifically included false statements that the writers had not been compensated by the companies they were writing about.
- One writer wrote under his own name as well as at least 9 pseudonyms, including a persona he invented who claimed to be “an analyst and fund manager with almost 20 years of investment experience.”
- One of the stock promotion firms went so far as to have some writers it hired sign non-disclosure agreements specifically preventing them from disclosing compensation they received.
All told, fraud charges were filed against: 3 public companies; 7 stock promotion or communications firms; 2 company CEOs; 6 individuals at the firms; 9 writers.
Of those charged, 17 have agreed to settlements that include disgorgement or penalties ranging from approximately $2,200 to nearly $3 million based on frequency and severity of their actions. SEC litigation continues against 10 others.