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SEC-FINRA Defense Blog

Lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission is a dangerous game with potentially high-stakes consequences.  An obvious proposition, but all too often ignored by those who don’t understand that it is infinitely better to stay silent and invoke the Fifth Amendment rather than to speak and inadvertently create new, potentially more serious legal liabilities for themselves. Case in point: the federal criminal authorities recently indicted Richard Cody, a former investment advisor and registered representative, for allegedly lying in a SEC deposition.  Cody was also...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently brought fraud charges against an attorney, Marc A. Celello, based on his alleged participation in a $30 million Ponzi scheme. The SEC’s complaint claims that Celello, who was a partner in Credit National Capital LLC and also acted as general counsel for its underlying companies, facilitated the orchestration of a Ponzi scheme involving the offer and sale of promissory notes yielding a 9% return. According to the SEC Complaint,...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed insider trading charges against a doctor who is alleged to have purchased shares in a supply chain services company on the basis of a tip of material, non-public information he received from a company executive​ concerning an impending acquisition.  The SEC further alleged that he then sold the shares at a profit once the acquisition was publicly announced.  The good doctor made a “whopping” $8,330.00 in profits from his alleged illegal insider trades. In its Complaint, the SEC...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently brought insider trading charges against the former Chief Executive Officer of a fiber optics company. The SEC Complaint alleges that Peter Chang, founder, CEO and chairman of the board of Alliance Fiber Optic Products utilized secret brokerage accounts in the names of family members (wife and brother) to trade in his company stock while in possession of material, non-public information.  The SEC claims that Chang made more than $2 million in illegal profits...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently released an investigative report warning securities market participants that the sale of digital assets by “virtual” organizations are covered by the federal securities laws. Such solicitations and sales, typically effectuated by entities using distributed ledger or blockchain technology, are known as “initial coin offerings” or “token sales.” The SEC made clear, however, that whether a particular investment transaction involves the offer or sale of a security, notwithstanding the terminology...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week filed fraud charges against an individual alleged to have attempted to manipulate the stock price of Fitbit by filing a phony regulatory filing. The SEC’s complaint names Robert W. Murray as the individual who purchased Fitbit call options just minutes prior to his filing of a phony tender offer on the SEC EDGAR database, which claimed that ABM Capital Ltd sought to acquire at a premium Fitbit’s...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently brought civil charges against a former law partner at a large, international law firm and his neighbor for allegedly engaging in insider trading. The pair is reported to have netted in excess of $1 million in ill-gotten gains. In its complaint, the SEC claims that Walter C. Little gained access to confidential information contained on his law firm’s internal computer network regarding numerous impending corporate announcements involving the...
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