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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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June 19, 2019

The former CEO of Quintillion, a telecommunications company in Alaska, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $896,698 for defrauding investors of more than $270 million.  In order to secure funding to build a high-speed fiber optic cable system, Elizabeth Pierce had presented two New York investment companies with contracts that made it appear as if Quintillion was guaranteed revenue of nearly $1 billion.  Unbeknownst to investors and her own staff, however, the contracts were allegedly forged and the actual contracts she’d negotiated would generate only a fraction of that amount.  Quintillion eventually reported her to the DOJ.  USAO SDNY

June 14, 2019

IBM and its subsidiary, Cúram Software, will pay $14.8 million for allegedly making material misrepresentations to the State of Maryland during a contract award process for the state’s health insurance exchange website.  Cúram, which was acquired by IBM at the end of 2011, had applied for the award in 2012 and subsequently became a subcontractor on the project, which was partially funded by federal grants.  However, during the application process, and with IBM’s knowledge, Cúram allegedly misrepresented the development status and existing functionality of its software, as well as its software’s ability to integrate with other software.  The resulting issues caused the State of Maryland to terminate the contract and replace Cúram’s software.  DOJ; USAO MD

May 31, 2019

The FTC has settled with the operators of a worldwide negative option scam that falsely advertised "risk free" products trials, but then charged consumers full price and enrolled them in costly, ongoing plans without their consent.  California-based defendants Triangle Media Corps., Jasper Rain Marketing LLC, and Brian Phillips, had been charged with violating the FTC Act, the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act (ROSCA), and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) through their trickery over the course of five years.  Co-defendants Hardwire Interactive Inc., Global Northern Trading Ltd., and Devin Keer, who helped spread the scheme worldwide, faced the same charges. As part of the settlement, the defendants have been ordered to pay judgments ranging from $48.1 million to $123.1 million, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $400,000 and $3 million, respectively.  FTC

May 6, 2019

The FTC has filed a complaint against a Texas man who raised more than $800,000 through four deceptive crowdfunding campaigns launched between 2015 and 2016. Douglas Monahan allegedly told consumers that contributions to Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns benefiting his company, iBackPack of Texas, LLC, would go toward developing, producing, and distributing various tech-enhanced products, including a power bank-equipped backpack and shoulder bag and a magnetic USB cable system. Instead, Monahan improperly spent the money on personal expenses and marketing efforts. Monahan’s fraudulent behavior was eventually reported by hundreds of disgruntled consumers. FTC

May 3, 2019

New Hampshire-based GT Advanced Technologies, Inc. and its then-CEO Thomas Gutierrez have consented to entry of an order by the SEC finding that they publicly misrepresented the status of an agreement the company had with Apple to supply "sapphire glass" for iPhones, falsely stating that the company expected to hit performance targets under its agreement with Apple, securing funding from Apple and achieving sales projections.  In fact, the company had repeatedly failed to meet Apple's performance milestones and faced liability to repay more than $300 million that Apple had advanced to GT.  GT was also found to have misclassified this Apple debt in its financial reports.  GT later filed for bankruptcy protection.  The parties agreed to cease and desist from further violations, and Gutierrez agreed to pay a $140,000 monetary sanction.  SEC

April 29, 2019

In an enforcement action initiated by the CFTC, Michael Shah and Zilmil, Inc., both of Jacksonville, Florida, have been ordered to pay nearly $23 million for their roles as "affiliate marketers" for unregistered binary options trading schemes, targeting consumers with false and misleading advertising for the trading systems.  CFTC

April 25, 2019

Morgan Stanley will pay $150 million to the State of California to resolve allegations under the California False Claims Act, Corporate Security Law and False Advertising Law, that the bank concealed the risk of residential mortgage-backed securities sold to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) between 2003 to 2007. CA

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

After being charged in 2017, Thomas Lanzana, Blackbox Pulse, LLC, Nikolay Masanko, and White Cloud Mountain, LLC have been ordered to pay more than $2.7 million in restitution and civil penalties in connection with their marketing of a foreign exchange trading scheme through which they fraudulently solicited and accepted funds from customers for the purported purpose of trading forex in a commodity pool.  In fact, defendants misappropriated customers' funds, fabricated account statements, and misrepresented trades and balances.  CFTC

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
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