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Stories of Interest
- Address at ICI's 2017 Securities Law Developments Conference - SEC Commissioner Stein
- New York Pension Fund Seeks More Pay Disclosure from Wells Fargo
- Wells Fargo Sanctions Are on Ice Under Trump Official
- Josh Brown: Here's How to Buy Bitcoin, But Realize It Could Be One Giant Bubble
- Trump's New Tax Plan Could Cost Citigroup $20 Billion
- Morgan Stanley Fires Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr.
- Al Franken Will Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations - His Full Resignation Speech
- Ex-NFL Player Gets 40 Years for Running $10Mn Fraud
- Bitcoin Blows Past $15K, Adding $2K in Under 12 Hours
- Financial Adviser Settles Charges for Defrauding Private Equity Fund Investors
- New Cross Market Equity Supervision Report Cards - FINRA Phone-In Workshop, WebEx Presentation
- Mueller Just Crossed Trump's Red Line, With Deutsche Bank Subpoena
- Wildfire Rages Near Los Angeles
- Former Company Insider Has $4.1Mn Payday as a Whistleblower
- Audit Firm, Anton & Chia, Conducted Fraudulent Audits of Penny Stock Companies - SEC
- Mueller Subpoenas Deutsche Bank Records on Trump and Family
- Bitcoin Nearly Halfway to $400Bn Value Predicted by Winklevoss Twins 4 Years Ago
- Fidelity Clients Suffer Second Website Glitch in Week
- CBOE Beats CME to Bitcoin Futures Launch with December 10 Start
- McKinsey Senior Exec Thomas Barkin Named New Head of Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
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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.