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Misrepresentations

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraudulent misrepresentations in financial transactions and financial markets. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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April 3, 2019

Srinubabu Gedela and his publishing companies have been ordered to pay over $50.1 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for violation of the FTC Act for making false claims about their scientific conferences and academic journals. The government’s complaint alleged that Gedela and his companies advertised that well known researchers would be presenting at the conferences when many of the researchers had never agreed to speak. The defendants also allegedly lied to academics and researchers by claiming that their journals would provide extensive peer review and that they had editorial boards made up of distinguished academics. In addition to paying $50.1 million, the final order restricts the defendants from making misrepresentations in regard to their academic journals and conferences. FTC

April 2, 2019

Former CEO of Jumio, Daniel Mattes, will pay more than $17 million to settle SEC charges of defrauding investors in the Silicon Valley based private mobile payments company. The SEC complaint alleges that Mattes exaggerated Jumio’s 2013 and 2014 revenues while selling his personal shares to investors in the private, secondary market. When Jumio filed for bankruptcy in 2016, the shares became worthless and investors lost everything. Mattes is barred from being an officer or director of a publicly traded company in the U.S. Further, he must pay more than $16 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest plus a $640,000 penalty. The SEC also settled separate proceedings against Jumio’s former CFO, Chad Starkey, for failing to exercise reasonable care concerning the financial statements and signing stock transfer agreements that falsely implied that the board of directors had approved Mattes’ sales. SEC

March 21, 2019

A hedge fund manager in Boston was sentenced to 14 years in prison for running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme from 2009 to 2017. Raymond Montoya, who ran RMA Strategic Opportunity Fund, LLC, was accused of misrepresenting the fund's rate of returns to induce millions of dollars in investments from unsuspecting victims across three states, including family, friends, and acquaintances. Montoya only invested a portion of the money – the rest was diverted to other bank accounts and used to pay personal expenses. USAO MA

March 20, 2019

Wells Fargo Securities has been ordered to pay over $800,000 in civil penalties to the SEC for failing to disclose that a video game development project being financed by a bond it underwrote still faced a significant shortfall in funding. The lead banker on the deal, Peter Cannava, was additionally accused of failing to disclose the fees being paid to the firm by startup video game company, 38 Studios. SEC

March 18, 2019

Royal Metals Group, LLC, and part owner, Chelsea Gless have been ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to pay over $2.3 million for fraudulent misrepresentations and misappropriation of customer funds in a precious metals scheme.  The order requires the defendants to pay restitution of $584,549.84 to defrauded customers and a $1,753,647 civil monetary penalty. The defendants are also permanently banned from trading regulated commodities and registering with the CFTC. CFTC    

March 12, 2019

Lumber Liquidators agreed to pay $33 million in criminal fines and forfeitures for knowingly making false and misleading statements regarding formaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring imported by the company from China.  In March, 2015, 60 Minutes reported that laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators in the United States did not meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission standards for formaldehyde and featured undercover videos and laboratory test results.  The company filed an SEC Form 8-K broadly denying the allegations in the 60 Minutes episode and asserting that Lumber Liquidators complied with CARB regulations. The statement, however, omitted material facts known to the company. The company also entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, agreeing to implement internal control procedures and cooperate with ongoing investigations.   In a separate agreement with the SEC, Lumber Liquidators will also disgorge over $6 million in profits and prejudgment interest, which amount will be credited against the criminal penalties.  DOJ; SEC; USAO ED VA.

March 6, 2019

Baton Holdings LLC, the successor in interest to Bankrate Inc., agreed to pay $28 million to resolve a government investigation into securities fraud committed by former Bankrate executives. According to settlement documents, the executives caused shareholders to suffer $25 million in losses by artificially inflating company earnings and making false statements to independent auditors. Two of the executives, former CFO Edward DiMaria and former VP of finance Hyunjin Lerner, were previously sentenced. DOJ

March 6, 2019

A Texas woman has been sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $15 million for her role in a $50 million scheme involving healthcare fraud and money laundering. Daniela Gozes-Wagner was accused of running 28 fake medical testing facilities from 2009, and billing Medicare and Medicaid for tests that were not performed or medically necessary. As part of the scheme, she employed personnel to answer phones and prevent inspectors from entering "testing facilities" that were virtually empty. USAO SDTX

February 27, 2019

Tennessee-based skilled nursing facility chain Vanguard Healthcare LLC, along with former executives William Orand and Mark Miller, have agreed to pay upward of $18 million to resolve False Claims allegations of billing Medicare and Medicaid for worthless and "grossly substandard nursing home services." According to press releases, five facilities in the Vanguard network allegedly submitted false claims for reimbursement, despite a litany of failures, including forging nurse and physician signatures, using unnecessary physical restraints on residents, failing to prevent pressure ulcers, failing to provide wound care as ordered, failing to provide standard infection control, failing to administer medications as prescribed, and failing to meet basic nutrition and hygiene requirements. The case is considered the largest case of fraud involving worthless services in state history. DOJ; USAO MDTN

February 21, 2019

Precious metals dealer Hannes Tulving, Jr. and The Tulving Company, Inc., have been ordered to pay a civil monetary penalty of $15.7 million, having been charged with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation in 2015.  Between 2013 and 201, defendants fraudulently held themselves out as a reputable dealer in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins, soliciting more than $150 million in funds from 381 people.  Tulving then misappropriated funds for unauthorized uses and failed to purchase or deliver the metals to customers.  In 2016, Tulving was sentenced to 30 months in prison.  CFTC
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