Articles Tagged with Investor Alert

Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was creating a Retail Strategy Task Force as part of the Enforcement Division’s continuing endeavors to shield retail investors.  The newly created Task Force has already in 2018 published an Investor Alert relating to Ponzi schemes, as discussed below.

The Enforcement Division has had “a long and successful history of bringing cases involving fraud targeting retail investors.”  In recent years, it has seen a substantial number of cases pertaining to fraud that impacted retail investors, such as the sale of structured products that were not suitable to the relevant retail investor and microcap pump-and-dump schemes.  The Retail Strategy Task Force will put into practice the education obtained from those cases in order to pinpoint “large-scale misconduct affecting retail investors.” Continue reading

On April 10, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it brought enforcement actions against 27 firms and individuals.  According to the SEC, these firms and individuals published articles on investment websites about various companies’ stock.  The articles did not disclose to investors, however, that they were not “independent, unbiased analyses,” and they allegedly gave investors the opinion that they were.  The articles also did not have any disclaimers stating that the authors were being paid for promoting various companies’ stock.

The SEC conducted investigations through which it found that public companies engaged promoters or communications firms to create publicity for their stocks.  The promoters and communications firms then employed writers to write articles about the companies.  These articles, however, did not inform the public that the writers were receiving compensation from the public companies.  The SEC claims that, because these articles did not disclose the compensation arrangement, they created the impression that they were impartial when in fact they were “nothing more than paid advertisements.”  Moreover, the SEC found that more than 250 articles contained untrue statements that the writers were not being paid by the companies that their articles were discussing.  As a result, the SEC is alleging that the relevant firms and individuals committed fraud. Continue reading

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed a cease-and-desist order against an Illinois man, Anthony Fields, for scamming investors with a fictitious securities offering. Fields attempted to sell more than $500 billion in securities using various social media websites, including LinkedIn.

Fields claimed to be a representative of a “leading institutional broker-dealer” through his firms: Anthony Fields & Associates and Platinum Securities Brokers. He was not registered as a broker/dealer with the SEC nor was he licensed as an associate with a registered broker/dealer.

The SEC has claimed that Fields violated numerous securities regulations. Allegedly, he promoted fictitious bank guarantees by setting up an unfunded investment adviser and an unfunded broker-dealer. He registered both of these with the SEC; however, he did so by filing false applications in March 2010. He also failed to maintain adequate books and records or carry out proper compliance procedures. Finally, he overstated his assets under management by claiming he had $400 million when, in actuality, he had none.
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