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Securities Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to securities fraud. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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August 6, 2021

Colorado resident Wayde McKelvy was sentenced to 18 years in prison and ordered to pay $37 million in restitution following conviction on charges related to his operation of a Ponzi scheme.  McKelvy and others operated Mantria Corporation, which they claimed offered huge returns by investing in real estate and green energy projects.  Through these misrepresentations, defendants obtained more than $54 million in funds from duped investors.  USAO ED PA

August 2, 2021

Ernst & Young LLP and three of its audit partners, along with William Stiehl, who was serving as the chief accounting officer of a public company, collectively agreed to pay more than $10 million to resolve SEC claims of wrongdoing with respect to EY’s pursuit of audit business from the public company.  EY and its partners were alleged to have solicited and received confidential competitive intelligence and confidential audit committee information from Stiehl during the issuer’s auditor’s selection process, in violation of auditor independence rules.  EY agreed to pay $10 million and comply with a detailed set of undertakings for a period of two years; the individual auditors agreed to pay civil monetary penalties between $15,000 and $50,000 and to be suspended from appearing or practicing before the Commission for times ranging from one to three years; Stiehl agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty of $51,000 and to be suspended from appearing or practicing before the Commission for two years.  SEC

Federal Court Confirms That Outsiders Can Be SEC Whistleblower Too

Posted  07/30/21
SEC-building
What does it mean to be a “whistleblower”?  Often, people think of corporate or government employees with access to secret information that’s not visible from the outside.  A classic example is Daniel Ellsberg.  Working as a military analyst for the RAND Corporation, Ellsberg accessed and leaked an explosive Top Secret study of U.S. activities in the Vietnam War. But the U.S. whistleblower award programs...

July 21, 2021

Suneet Singal, First Capital Real Estate Investments, LLC, and related entities, agreed to pay fines totaling over $7 million to resolve claims that they made material misrepresentations and omissions concerning First Capital Real Estate Trust Inc., a real estate investment trust.  The SEC alleged that defendants misrepresented the REIT’s property holdings, and that Singal fraudulently directed funds to his own use.  Singal was barred from the securities industry for at least ten years.  SEC

July 13, 2021

Special purpose acquisition corporation Stable Road Acquisition Company, its CEO Brian Kabot, and the SPAC’s proposed merger target Momentus Inc. will collectively pay penalties of $8 million to resolve charges that Momentus, a space transportation company, and its CEO Mikhael Kokorich, misrepresented the company's technology and ability to secure required governmental licenses, and that Stable Road repeated those misleading statements in public filings associated with its proposed merger with Momentus.  Stable Road claimed to have conducted extensive due diligence of Momentus, but it never reviewed the results of Momentus’s in-space test or received sufficient documents relevant to government licensing issues and, in particular, national security risks associated with Kokorich. SEC

SEC Cracks Down Again on Companies Chilling Whistleblowers from Reporting Wrongdoing

Posted  07/2/21
By Carolina Gonzalez
red tape over person mouth
A company’s restrictive compliance manual and training materials ran afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Rule 21F-17(a), prohibiting actions restricting, impeding, or discouraging whistleblowers from directly reporting wrongdoing to the Commission.  In its settlement against New York broker-dealer Guggenheim Securities, LLC (Guggenheim), the SEC not only censured Guggenheim but also hit it...

June 29, 2021

Neovest Inc., a JPMorgan Chase & Co. subsidiary that provides an order and execution management system (OEMS) that facilitates electronic trading, will pay $2.75 million for its failure to register as a broker-dealer. Neovest's OEMS allows customers to route orders for stocks and options to more than 360 customer-selected destination brokers who entered into agreements with Neovest for execution. In exchange for its OEMS services, Neovest received transaction-based compensation, which were sent to J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, a registered broker-dealer, and then transferred to Neovest. SEC

June 24, 2021

Gateway One Lending & Finance, LLC, which originates, securitizes, and services auto loans, agreed to pay $6.5 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties to resolve charges that it understated the historic losses of its auto loans and overstated the projected future performance for six auto loan-backed securitizations.  SEC

June 22, 2021

Loci Inc., whose InnVenn platform provides intellectual property search services for inventors and others users, will pay $7.6 million to resolve SEC charges arising from its unregistered initial coin offering of "LOCIcoins."  In the course of the ICO, Loci and its CEO John Wise allegedly misrepresented the company’s revenues, number of employees, and InnVenn’s user base. SEC

Flood of SEC Whistleblower Awards Continues

Posted  06/17/21
Securities and Exchange Commission logo with a stack of coins and cash on top
It has been less than two months since SEC Whistleblower Chief Jane Norberg left the agency for private practice.  As we previously wrote, her five years running the agency's Whistleblower Program were groundbreaking in the number and amount of awards the SEC made and in the agency's efforts to champion the critical role whistleblowers play within the SEC enforcement regime. As we also wrote at the time, the SEC...
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