Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Market Manipulation, SEC Charges

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

09/10/2018

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Have the 'too big to fail' banks really met their Waterloo?

Ever since Lehmans went bust banks have been promising to reform, but we’re not there yet

Historians have recorded turning points for time immemorial. The crossing of the Rubicon by Caesar, the Boston Tea Party for the United States, Britain’s triumph at Waterloo and decline after Suez.

For the chroniclers of capitalism, the collapse of Lehman Brothers a decade ago this week stands as the major tipping point in modern financial history. read more »

SEC Charges Microcap Fraudsters for Roles in Lucrative Market Manipulation Schemes

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a group of 10 individuals and 10 associated entities for their participation in long-running fraudulent schemes that generated over $27 million from unlawful stock sales and caused significant harm to retail investors who were left holding virtually worthless stock.

According to the SEC’s complaint, from 2013 to 2018, a group of prolific South Florida-based microcap fraudsters led by Barry Honig manipulated the share price of the stock of three companies in classic pump-and-dump schemes. Miami biotech billionaire Phillip Frost allegedly participated in two of these three schemes. Honig allegedly orchestrated the acquisition of large quantities of the issuer’s stock at steep discounts, and after securing a substantial ownership interest in the companies, Honig and his associates engaged in illegal promotional activity and manipulative trading to artificially boost each issuer’s stock price and to give the stock the appearance of active trading volume. read more »

SEC Charges Two Brokers With Defrauding Customers

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two brokers for recommending excessive levels of trading that were costly for retail customers but lucrative for the brokers. 

In separate complaints filed in federal court in Manhattan on Friday, the SEC alleges that Florida resident Emil Botvinnik and New York resident Jovannie Aquino recommended frequent, short-term trades that generated large commissions for the brokers but were almost guaranteed to lose money for their customers. According to the SEC’s complaints, Botvinnik’s and Aquino’s customers – a number of whom were at or near retirement age – lost approximately $3.6 million as a result of the trades while the brokers pocketed approximately $4.6 million in commissions. read more »