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SEC Charges Agria Corporation and Executive Chairman With Fraud

Posted on December 10, 2018 at 3:30 PM
SEC settled charges with Agria Corporation for concealing substantial losses from investors through fraudulent accounting in connection with its divestiture of its primary operating entity. In a related action, the company???s executive chairman Lai Guanglin (aka Alan Lai) settled charges that he manipulated the company???s share price. As described in the SEC???s order: 1) Agria Corporation sold its Chinese operating company in return for stock and land use rights to 13,500 acres of undev... Read Full Post »

Citigroup Global Markets to Pay $409K for Overcharging Customers

Posted on November 27, 2018 at 8:55 AM

As reported in Financialish.com (https/www.financialish.com/):


Citigroup Global Markets agreed to pay a $100K fine plus $309K in restitution to eligible customers, to settle FINRA charges that it disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares in certain mutual funds without a front-end sales charge.

CGMI, a New York, NY-based broker-dealer since 1936, is a full-service firm providing investment...

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NY Attorney General Announces Judgment Against Ithaca Auction House For Failing To Pay Over $230K To Consumers

Posted on November 15, 2018 at 8:15 AM

New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced a judgment obtained against Finger Lakes Estate and Auction, Inc. and its owner, Charles Dorsey, for fraudulently inducing consumers into giving up their personal property for auction sales and failing to return the proceeds as promised. The judgment requires Finger Lakes and Dorsey to pay $237,739 in full consumer restitution and $12,000 in civil penalties and costs, and retain a Trustee to handle all of the money from future auction s...

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PR Firm and Publisher Settle FTC Allegations They Misrepresented Product Endorsements

Posted on November 13, 2018 at 2:35 PM

Two Georgia-based companies and their principals agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that, in connection with promoting a new insect repellent during the 2016 Zika virus outbreak, they misrepresented that paid endorsements were independent consumer opinions and commercial advertising was independent journalistic content.

Under two proposed Commission orders, the respondents are prohibited from making such misrepresentations going forward, and must disclose material con...

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SEC Charges Investment Adviser With Running $3.9 Million Fraud

Posted on November 4, 2018 at 9:20 AM

The SEC charged a former registered representative and investment adviser in Altoona, Pennsylvania, with operating a long-running offering fraud.

The SEC’s complaint alleged:

  • that Douglas P. Simanski raised over $3.9 million from approximately 27 of his brokerage customers and investment advisory clients, many of them retired or elderly, by telling them that he would invest their money in either a “tax free” fixed rate investment, a rental car company, or on...
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FTC Bans Owners of Business Coaching and Development Service Scam

Posted on October 29, 2018 at 1:15 PM

The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") banned owners of four companies that allegedly bilked consumers trying to start online businesses from home have been banned from selling purported business coaching or development services under court-approved settlements with the Federal Trade Commission. The settlements, which resolve an FTC case brought in the District of Utah, also require the corporate defendants to turn over the remaining funds in their bank accounts to the FTC.

According to t...

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NY A.G. Underwood Files Lawsuit Against Exxonmobil For Defrauding Investors Regarding Financial Risk The Company Faces From Climate Change Regulations

Posted on October 24, 2018 at 2:35 PM

NY Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corporation ("Exxon"), alleging that the company misled investors regarding the risk that climate change regulations posed to its business.

As alleged in the complaint:

  • Exxon for years assured investors that it was accounting for the likelihood of increasingly stringent regulation of greenhouse gas emissions – which are driving climate change and which Exxon emits in large quantity...
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SEC Announces $23.8 Million Settlement with the Self-Proclaimed "Frack Master"

Posted on October 24, 2018 at 10:15 AM

The SEC announced it has agreed to a settlement with Christopher A. Faulkner—the self-proclaimed “Frack Master”—in connection with his wide-ranging securities-fraud scheme that raised over $80 million from hundreds of investors nationwide. Faulkner has simultaneously entered into a plea agreement relating to the same misconduct under which he will serve 12 years in federal prison for securities fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion.

According to the SEC’...

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SEC Suspends Trading in Company for Making False Cryptocurrency-Related Claims about SEC Regulation and Registration

Posted on October 22, 2018 at 1:45 PM

The SEC suspended trading in the securities of a company amid questions surrounding its statements about partnering with a claimed SEC-qualified custodian for use with cryptocurrency transactions and a purportedly registered public offering of preferred stock.

The SEC’s trading suspension order says that two August 2018 press releases issued by Nevada-based American Retail Group, Inc. (OTC: ARGB) aka Simex, Inc. claimed that the company had partnered with an SEC qualified custodia...

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SEC Stops Fraudulent ICO That Falsely Claimed SEC Approval

Posted on October 11, 2018 at 2:05 PM

The SEC announced that it has obtained an emergency court order halting a planned initial coin offering (ICO), which backers falsely claimed was approved by the SEC. The order also halts ongoing pre-ICO sales by the company, Blockvest LLC and its founder, Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III.

An SEC complaint unsealed alleged that:

  • Blockvest falsely claimed its ICO and its affiliates received regulatory approval from various agencies, including the SEC. 
  • Blockvest and Ri...
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