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To: Bear Down who wrote (114493)3/20/2012 12:38:36 PM
From: StockDung
   of 118414
 


Michael Franklin Felix the Cat and Evolution Solar Corporation

Consultant michaelfranklin.com 

Korg Synthesizers, Kurzweil Music Systems, Hard Rock Live, American International Carnival, Felix the Cat Cartoons, Hello Kitty Cartoon, Evolution Solar Corporation

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To: StockDung who wrote (114495)3/20/2012 12:41:39 PM
From: Bear Down
   of 118414
 
Franklin is a lifetime of failures......... and apparently scams

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From: Glenn Petersen3/20/2012 1:27:19 PM
   of 118414
 
The Case Against Staggered Boards

By STEVEN M. DAVIDOFF
DealBook
New Yolrk Times
March 20, 2012, 12:43 pm

Here is a corporate governance puzzle to ponder.

Companies that are already public are rushing headlong to ditch their staggered boards. More evidence of this comes from the Harvard Law School Shareholder Rights Project.

At the same time, however, companies undertaking initial public offerings, like Angies’ List and LinkedIn, are increasingly choosing to go public with staggered boards. What explains this odd divergence?

The Shareholder Rights Project says it has submitted 87 board declassification proposals during the past proxy season. The project was subsequently able to enter into agreements with 41 Standard & Poor’s 500 companies committing them to bring management proposals to declassify their boards.

The results are stunning.

The project has succeeded in getting about a third of all the S.&P. 500 companies that had a staggered board to eliminate it.

The rights project is led by a corporate governance advocate, Professor Lucian A. Bebchuk, and a research fellow, Scott Hirst, both from Harvard Law School. The project has been working with five institutional investors — the Illinois State Board of Investment, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System — to submit corporate-governance-friendly shareholder proposals.

The project has focused of late on eliminating staggered boards since they are particularly abhorrent to shareholder rights activists. In a staggered board, roughly a third of directors are up for election in any given year. It therefore takes two years to replace a majority of the board.

Academics argue that the staggered board thus serves as a powerful antitakeover device and “entrenches” the board, unduly protecting it from shareholder influence. Directors will instead look out for themselves and management instead of shareholders.

Academic research also lends some support to the questionable value of a staggered board. Companies with such boards have been found to have lower value, a greater likelihood of making acquisitions that are value-destroying, and a greater propensity to compensate executives without regard to whether they actually do a good job.

In fairness, there is also contrary evidence, and the value of the staggered board has yet to be determined definitively. At least one paper has found that shareholders of companies with staggered boards receive more consideration in takeovers than companies without such boards and that a staggered board does not significantly deter bidders.

The reason for this is intuitively obvious. Since a company with a staggered board is harder to take over, bidders must pay more to do so.

This debate is likely to continue for a long time, but in the meantime the opponents of the staggered board appear to have traction. The Harvard project’s announcement on Monday is another milestone in the general decline of the staggered board in public companies. According to the data provider FactSet SharkRepellent, 302 S.&P. 500 companies had staggered boards in 2002. Ten years later, the figure has fallen to 126.

Outside this universe of large companies, the staggered board has also fallen out of favor, though not as rapidly. Of 900 other companies outside the S.&P. 500, staggered board adoption rates have declined by about 25 percent since 2002.

It is here where our puzzle arises.

Compare this with the market for initial public offerings. According to FactSet SharkRepellent, 86.4 percent of the companies going public this year have had a staggered board. This figure is up from a still high 64.5 percent in 2011. Staggered board provisions have been adopted by prominent companies like Tesla, LinkedIn and Dunkin’ Brands.

What explains this divergence?

In the public markets, it appears that pressure from corporate governance activists like the Harvard project and from proxy advisory firms like Institutional Shareholder Services is working to coax companies into destaggering. Professor Bebchuk commented that a “main reason for the responsiveness is that annual elections are supported by a substantial majority of investors,” and that these shareholders tend to support destaggering proposals.

According to FactSet SharkRepellent, 448 proposals to destagger boards have appeared in proxy statements since 2005 and, on average, have received about 64 percent of votes in favor of the action. In other words, companies are bowing to the will of shareholders.

But since these companies are going along, it is natural to conclude that the companies most likely agree that eliminating the staggered board will provide value to shareholders.

If the staggered board is really so bad, though, then why are all of these companies going public with one? In fact, some of them, including LinkedIn and Bankrate, not only have a staggered board but have provisions requiring that 80 percent of all shares must subsequently vote to destagger the board. This provision is designed to directly contradict shareholder pressure to remove the board by making a winning vote on this matter extremely difficult.

Companies going public may believe that the staggered board is important because it creates value by insulating directors from shareholder pressure so that they can make long-term decisions. More cynically, they adopt these provisions because it prevents shareholders from having undue influence that may affect their ability to keep their management positions or pay themselves compensation.

In either case, companies are acting to adopt a staggered board before shareholder pressure comes to bear. In the I.P.O. market, most investors are there for short-term profits. They buy to almost immediately sell on the first-day “pop” that often occurs. Corporate governance does not matter to these buyers.

But there may be another explanation here: the lawyers. The corporate legal bar is not particularly enamored of the staggered board, most likely from its experience representing companies without such a device. Many of these lawyers believe the staggered board provides negotiating room to bargain for a higher premium.

And when companies go public, at least one study has found that they are heavily dependent on their lawyers for advice on what antitakeover mechanisms to adopt. These companies are probably receiving legal advice to adopt a staggered board.

So is the advice the lawyers provide really what these companies want? The evidence in the after-market appears to be no.

But one thing is clear. These new companies with staggered boards are certainly giving new work to one constituency — Professor Bebchuk and his Harvard Law School Shareholder Rights Project.

Steven M. Davidoff, writing as The Deal Professor, is a commentator for DealBook on the world of mergers and acquisitions.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/the-case-against-staggered-boards/?smid=tw-nytimesdealbook&seid=auto

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To: scion who wrote (114402)3/20/2012 1:47:02 PM
From: scion
   of 118414
 
Mets Owners to Pay $162 Million to Madoff Trustee

Updated March 20, 2012, 9:52 a.m. ET
By CHAD BRAY, REED ALBERGOTTI and MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
online.wsj.com 

For the owners of the New York Mets, settling a lawsuit over their investments with Bernard Madoff apparently was as much about their reputations as it was about the money.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee for Mr. Madoff's firm, had sued the Mets owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, as well as their families and business associates for more than $300 million they invested with Mr. Madoff, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges three years ago.

The Mets owners, in a deal announced Monday, agreed to settle the lawsuit for $162 million and a pledge that Mr. Picard would drop his claims that they were "willfully blind" to signs that Mr. Madoff was carrying out a fraud.

The settlement, which requires court approval by April 13, was announced shortly before a jury trial was scheduled to begin. A loss at trial could have cost them control of the team.

"The settlement we announced in court confirms that Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz and their partners acted at all times in good faith and didn't act willfully blind," said Robert Wise Jr., a lawyer for the Mets owners. The Mets owners claimed for more than a year that they had no inkling that Mr. Madoff was doing anything wrong and were victims like thousands of others.

Mr. Picard's lawsuit centered around what he called "red flags" that the Mets owners allegedly chose to ignore. One of those red flags, Mr. Picard said, was financial advice from Noreen Harrington, the chief investment officer for a hedge fund owned by Messrs. Katz and Wilpon. In a deposition, Ms. Harrington said she told Mr. Katz in 2003 that Mr. Madoff was either trading illegally or making up fictitious profits. In the deposition, Ms. Harrington said she resigned because Messrs. Katz and Wilpon ignored her advice to steer clear of Mr. Madoff. She said she didn't have proof of wrongdoing. Ms. Harrington didn't respond to a request for comment.

In court documents, the Mets owners said they never were given any specific evidence that Mr. Madoff was running any kind of fraud.

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, the court-appointed mediator in the case, said in an interview Monday that early on in the negotiations he sensed that Messrs. Katz and Wilpon were upset that their reputations had been suddenly "besmirched" by the allegation that they turned a blind eye to Mr. Madoff's fraud.

"What I said to them is, 'Look, if we can find a decent way to settle this thing, much of the reputation that you lost can be won back,' " Mr. Cuomo said, adding he made that point more forcefully as the trial date loomed closer.

Michael McCann, the director of the Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School, said a trial, even if the Mets owners won, could have damaged their reputations even more. "It's already been substantial," Mr. McCann said. "A trial would have amplified it."

As part of the settlement announced in Manhattan federal court Monday, the Mets owners won't have to make a payment for three years, at which point the amount they will have to produce could be far less than $162 million.

That is because the payment can be made using any recoveries the Mets owners and business partners, as former investors, were due from the bankruptcy estate. Their claims add up to about $178 million. If their recoveries add up to more than $162 million when the bankruptcy is resolved, Messrs. Wilpon and Katz and their business partners will pay nothing. If it is less than $162 million, they will personally guarantee up to $29 million of the settlement.

The settlement resolves all claims by Mr. Picard against the Mets owners and their business partners, including any amount they would have paid under a prior court ruling that they must return "fictitious profits" withdrawn in the two years before Mr. Madoff's fraud collapsed. The trustee had claimed that amount was as much as $83.3 million.

Whatever happens, the Wilpons appear to have the wherewithal to keep the team for years to come, which was always their stated goal. However, the franchise may have to operate differently than before the Madoff scandal broke; the trustee had alleged the Mets owners tapped into their investments with Mr. Madoff to make up for cash crunches during the season.

David Sheehan, the lawyer for the trustee, said the settlement now aligns the goals of the Mets owners and the trustee. "In a sense, we're now partners," Mr. Sheehan said.

The agreement includes a provision that neither side can make disparaging remarks about each other, which caused Judge Jed Rakoff, who read out details of the settlement, to quip: "Love is wonderful."

The stakes were high in the case. The Mets owners couldn't afford to repay the $300 million in principal invested and later withdrawn that Mr. Picard was seeking, said people familiar with the team's finances and with the Wilpon family. A loss during trial could have forced them to sell additional stakes in the Mets and possibly could have caused them to lose majority control of the team.

Messrs. Katz and Wilpon both said outside the courthouse that they were "very pleased" with the settlement.

"Now I guess I can smile; maybe I can take a day off, but I can't wait to get back to our businesses which I love," Mr. Wilpon said, who said he will fly to Florida Tuesday for his team's spring training practices.

For Mr. Picard, who has suffered a series of legal setbacks in court, a loss at trial could have been a blow to his reputation and also may have provided a road map for defendants in other lawsuits. Mr. Picard has filed more than 1,000 lawsuits, and has recovered about $11 billion of the $17.3 billion in invested principal estimated to be lost in the Madoff fraud.

Mr. Sheehan said the settlement was reached Friday after talks between the parties heated up last week. Messrs. Wilpon and Katz weren't directly involved in the discussions, he said. "It isn't whether we win or lose, it's that we enhance the fund for the victims," Mr. Sheehan said.

Mr. Cuomo also credited Judge Jed Rakoff for helping to steer the two sides toward a settlement. "Every time he spoke, it seemed he developed another force field that had to be dealt with. In the end, it helped getting these people to agree."

Judge Rakoff also commended Mr. Cuomo's efforts, but spoke wistfully about what might have been.

"He was the No. 2 star," Judge Rakoff said, referring to Mr. Cuomo. "The No. 1 star, Sandy Koufax, I am going to have to forget about," he said. Mr. Koufax, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers and childhood friend of Mr. Wilpon's, was listed as a potential witness. "At least we got No. 2," Mr. Rakoff said.

Write to Chad Bray at chad.bray@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared Mar. 20, 2012, on page C1 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Mets Owners Settle Before First Pitch.

online.wsj.com 

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To: Bear Down who wrote (114496)3/20/2012 2:29:42 PM
From: StockDung
   of 118414
 
Rodman Renshaw LLC seems to be only market maker for DOMK


Depth/Level II for Domark International Inc. (DOMK)
$ 1.72 0.20 (+13.16%) Volume: 260.21 k 2:00 PM EDT Mar 20, 2012




What do the colors mean in the Level II/Depth data area?

In the first two columns of the Level 2 data area, the eight colors are simply used to separate the data . (based on price) In the third - Time & Sales - column (ie. the very right hand side of this area), green, signifies up red signifies down and white signifies no change.

The up and down arrows that appear in the Price columns of the Bid & Ask offer areas of our Level 2 data area are drawn based on the Bid/Ask delta value meaning that the specific Market Maker dropped or lowered their bid/ask value for that specific offer.

The "Exchange" identifier symbols are the Market Maker IDs for the various exchanges placing the bid & ask offers. Most can be clicked to view the details of the Market Maker.



Close



Level II Quotebook DL
Time MMID Size Bid
13:57

HDSN

20 $1.65
Ask Size MMID Time
$1.77 115

HDSN

13:57
Time & Sales
Price Size Exch Time
$1.7200 1,000 OBB 14:00:03
$1.7200 750 OBB 13:50:50
$1.7200 500 OBB 13:47:52
$1.7200 400 OBB 13:44:01
$1.7200 500 OBB 13:36:21
$1.7200 4,500 OBB 13:36:21
$1.7000 1,030 OBB 13:34:05
$1.7400 500 OBB 13:34:03
$1.7400 1,500 OBB 13:32:51
$1.7700 500 OBB 13:28:17
$1.7700 500 OBB 13:28:15
$1.7700 200 OBB 13:23:35
$1.7700 300 OBB 13:23:33
$1.7700 5,417 OBB 13:19:37
$1.7700 2,500 OBB 13:19:32
$1.7600 500 OBB 13:19:20
$1.7500 4,918 OBB 13:19:09
$1.7400 500 OBB 13:18:55
$1.7300 500 OBB 13:18:36
$1.7300 250 OBB 13:18:30
$1.7200 583 OBB 13:15:18
$1.7000 800 OBB 13:15:05
$1.7000 1,700 OBB 13:12:47
$1.7000 500 OBB 13:11:25
$1.7200 500 OBB 13:05:53
$1.7300 200 OBB 13:00:11
$1.7300 222 OBB 12:58:40
$1.7200 1,000 OBB 12:57:39
$1.7300 500 OBB 12:57:12
$1.7300 1,000 OBB 12:56:53



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From: scion3/20/2012 6:27:54 PM
   of 118414
 
Citi/Rakoff case: How much deference do courts owe the SEC?

3/20/2012
newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com 

U.S. Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff made a little joke at his own expense at Monday's hearing on the settlement between the owners of the New York Mets and the trustee for Bernard Madoff's bankrupt brokerage. After noting that the settlement includes a statement by trustee Irving Picard of Baker & Hostetler that lets the Mets owners off the hook for willful blindness, Rakoff paused. "I'm sure that was carefully negotiated," he said, according to the hearing transcript. "I won't ask the trustee if that means whether he admits or denies that he no longer thinks he can prove his claim against the defendants because I'm not permitted to ask those questions anymore."

The judge was referring, of course, to the smack down he received last week from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court, in a notably-unsigned opinion on a procedural issue, took the extraordinary step of rejecting Rakoff's analysis of his responsibility to police Securities and Exchange Commission settlements. According to the three-judge 2nd Circuit panel, when Rakoff rejected a proposed settlement between the agency and Citigroup, he overstepped his authority and failed to pay sufficient deference to the SEC's right to set and execute its own policies.

"We are bound in such matters to give deference to an executive agency's assessment of the public interest," the opinion said. "We have no reason to doubt the SEC's representation that the settlement it reached is in the public interest. We see no bases for any contention that the SEC's decision to enter into the settlement was 'arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.'"

But the so-called administrative deference rule isn't as ironclad as you might think from last week's opinion. In fact, in the last several months both the U.S. Supreme Court and the 2nd Circuit have issued opinions concluding that the SEC was wrong in its interpretation of its own policies.

The tension between the judicial and executive branches is just about as old as the U.S. Constitution. The leading modern-era case on the question is the Supreme Court's 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, in which the court held that the Environmental Protection Agency had the right to decide how to exercise regulation of the Clean Air Act. "We have long recognized that considerable weight should be accorded to an executive department's construction of a statutory scheme it is entrusted to administer and the principle of deference to administrative interpretations," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the court.

The 2nd Circuit cited Chevron in its Citi ruling last week, as well as a 1995 2nd Circuit case called In re Cuyahoga Equipment Corporation, which held that "appellate courts ordinarily defer to the agency's expertise and the voluntary agreement of the parties in proposing settlement." In 2010, the 2nd Circuit paid heed to the SEC's amicus explanation of a mutual fund's disclosure obligations in In re Morgan Stanley Information Fund Securities Litigation, writing, "the Commission's position ... is entitled to judicial deference, and we find it persuasive."

But last June, you may recall, the Supreme Court sided against the SEC (and securities plaintiffs) in Janus Capital v. First Derivative Traders, despite asking the agency to submit a brief on the question of whether an adviser can be sued for making a statement in a securities prospectus it didn't sign. The SEC said yes; the court said no. "We have previously expressed skepticism over the degree to which the SEC should receive deference regarding the private right of action," wrote Justice Clarence Thomas. "This is also not the first time this court has disagreed with the SEC's broad view."

Then last December, the 2nd Circuit gave the SEC the back of its hand in upholding the dismissal of an auction-rate securities case against Merrill Lynch. At the request of the appeals court, the agency had submitted a letter opining that the boilerplate disclosure Merrill posted on its website after a 2008 consent decree on issuers propping up the ARS market shouldn't protect Merrill from private suits. A three-judge 2nd panel disagreed. "We see no need to fix the 'exact molecular weight' of the deference that we owe to the SEC's position," wrote Judge Robert Katzmann. "We readily acknowledge that at least some deference to the agency's position is appropriate, given the SEC's expertise and accountability. Here, however, we are unable to agree with the SEC's application of the legal principles governing Merrill's disclosures."

So there you have it: Judges must give the SEC and other federal agencies deference except when they think those agencies are wrong. I'm exaggerating, but the law here isn't exactly clear.

I called John "Rusty" Wing of Lankler Siffert & Wohl, who will be representing Rakoff when the Citi case is argued later this year, to ask about the administrative deference rule. He said he hasn't yet begun to shape his brief, which isn't due until August. "I'm not sure what will be in it," Wing said. "But I think [Rakoff] is one of the best judges in the country and I'm privileged to be representing his position."


(Reporting by Alison Frankel)

Follow Alison on Twitter: @AlisonFrankel

Follow us on Twitter: @ReutersLegal

newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com 

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From: StockDung3/21/2012 8:41:54 AM
   of 118414
 
Afghan Shooter Was Penny-Stock Cold-Caller for Mob-Linked Firm thestreet.com  Gary Weiss
03/21/12 - 06:52 AM EDT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Robert Bales, accused killer of 16 Afghan civilians, at one time had ambitions to become a Wall Street Master of the Universe the old-fashioned way: by ripping off the public, working alongside Mob-linked stockbrokers. It's not clear to what extent Bales' life was influenced by his days as a stockbroker for marginal-to-sleazy brokerages in Florida and Ohio. But it must have been significant, because he spent four years in the armpit of the securities industry. In recent days, attention has focused on an NASD arbitration award from 2003, which he did not contest, stemming from his days as a stockbroker in the 1990s. It found Bales and other brokers liable for ripping off an elderly Ohio couple, and ordered him and others to pay $1.5 million. That turns out to have been just one episode from Bales' four-year journey through the bottom-feeding netherworld of the microcap market -- the world of boiler rooms, overvalued stocks and systematic investor rip-offs. Bales worked for five brokerages from 1996 to 2000 -- including one firm, the Hamilton-Shea Group, whose undisclosed principals later pleaded guilty to felonies and had Mob ties. Their firm was subsequently expelled from the securities industry. Interestingly, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records show that three of the firms where Bales worked were interconnected, and linked -- through personal or corporate ties -- to Hamilton-Shea. That would seem to indicate that Bales may have been part of a "crew" of brokers who moved from place to place during the 1990s. However, that could not be independently confirmed. Though Bales himself had no known connection to the mob, a person intimately familiar with the players of the era tells me that Hamilton-Shea was under the undisclosed control of two heavy-hitter penny-stock brokers who had connections to Philip C. Abramo, a capo in the DeCavalcante crime family and one of the leading Mafia figures involved in microcap brokerages during the era. According to FINRA records, Bales began work at Hamilton-Shea in Pompano Beach, Fla., in July 1996, the same month in which he passed his Series 7 broker license. It was customary in those days for brokers to work for firms as unlicensed cold-callers before they obtained brokerage licenses. However, it's not known if Bales worked at Hamilton-Shea before getting his license. Hamilton-Shea employed two former honchos of the notorious Joseph Roberts & Co. penny-stock firm, Joseph DeSanto and Robert B. DiMarco Jr., who shifted to Hamilton-Shea after the demise of "Jay-Rob." According to the Securities and Exchange Commission in civil proceedings against DeSanto and DiMarco, the two men were undisclosed principals of Hamilton-Shea while Bales was working there. They almost certainly would have hired him, and guided the young man in this early stage of his career. DeSanto and DiMarco pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in 2002 and 2001, respectively, during a nationwide crackdown on penny-stock firms. DeSanto was sentenced to five years in prison, while DiMarco was let off relatively easy, with five years probation. According to my source, DeSanto and DiMarco were involved with Abramo and his deputy, Phil Gurian, during their Joseph Roberts days, but not at Hamilton-Shea. So that means Bales was spared the dubious pleasure of dealing with the smooth-talking, college-educated Abramo, who, along with Gurian, was later convicted of multiple securities fraud counts. Abramo remains in prison. Bales left Hamilton-Shea in January 1997, according to FINRA records, but there is evidence that he did not leave the Hamilton-Shea orbit. His next stop was in Columbus, Ohio, where he worked for a firm called Quantum Capital Corp. According to FINRA records, Hamilton-Shea is known by another name -- Quantum Capital Corp. The Quantum that employed Bales and Hamilton-Shea have different CRD and SEC numbers, but this seems to be more than just a coincidence, even if they were separately organized. Bales left Quantum Capital to join Michael Patterson Inc., also in Columbus. He was with that firm when he got in the hot water that led to the arbitration case. He worked there from March 1996 to October 1999. Quantum and Michael Patterson were not total strangers. According to NASD disciplinary records, the principal of Michael Patterson Inc., the eponymous Michael Patterson, had formerly been employed by Quantum. As I'll describe later, the two firms were both swept together in an NASD disciplinary action. After leaving Michael Patterson Inc. in October 1999, Bales went over to another Ohio firm called Capital Securities of America, where he worked for 10 months, and then moved to his final employer in the securities industry, Quantum Securities Corp. He was there from September through December 2000, after which he dropped out of sight, as far as securities employment is concerned. When Bales worked at Quantum Securities, he must have felt right at home, because the chief financial officer and chief compliance officer of that firm (later known as Regis Securities), Nancy Arnett Vargo, is listed in FINRA records as the president and majority owner of Quantum Capital Corp. Vargo, who worked for Hamilton-Shea in Pompano Beach from April 1995 to December 1996 -- overlapping with Bales -- was never accused of any wrongdoing, and was not named in the Bales arbitration or any other arbitration case. The rest, as they say, is history. Having failed to leave much of a mark as a stockbroker, except for a serious accusation of unauthorized trading and misrepresentation that he never contested, Bales went on to join the Army after Sept. 11, 2001. The arbitration case dragged on through 2003. It involved trading in the stock of Life Diagnostics Inc. and Stearns & Lehman Inc., unspecified bank stocks, Orange County bonds, and a mortgage-backed security known as a REMIC, or "real estate mortgage investment conduit." It's not known which of those were pitched to the victim by Bales. What we do know is that by the time the judgment was handed down in 2003, Bales was an Army sergeant and hardly able to fork over a million bucks to anybody. All of his former employers, meanwhile, have gone to that great boiler room in the sky. In 2002, after multiple disciplinary actions and complaints, Hamilton-Shea was fined $1.38 million and expelled from membership in the NASD. Michael Patterson Inc. was expelled the securities industry, and its owner, Patterson, was permanently barred, in a 2002 NASD case in which he neither admitted nor denied charges of overcharging muni-bond customers. It was like old home week at the NASD, as Quantum Capital was censured in the same proceeding. The two firms had a secret arrangement in which Michael Patterson Inc. placed all its trades through Quantum, in violation of a slew of rules. By then, Quantum was defunct. Quantum Securities followed in 2008. Capital Securities of America, after being hammered by multiple NASD and state regulatory fines and censures, was acquired in 2007 Wunderlich Securities. But that apparently was not Bales' only flirtation with seeking his fortune in finance. According to the Army Times, "Florida records show that Bales was a director at an inactive company called Spartina Investments Inc. in Doral, Fla." Nothing ever came of it. Like a lot of schemes during those years, it just never happened, and would remain forever swathed in obscurity were it not for a horrific day in Afghanistan in 2012. Gary Weiss' most recent book, AYN RAND NATION: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul, was published by St. Martin's Press on Feb. 28.

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From: scion3/21/2012 9:48:18 AM
   of 118414
 
Administrative Proceedings Mar. 21, 2012

34-66633 Mar. 21, 2012 American United Gold Corporation, AMS Homecare Inc., Aucxis Corp., and CYOP Systems International Inc.

sec.gov 


34-66632 Mar. 21, 2012 American United Gold Corporation, AMS Homecare Inc., Aucxis Corp., and CYOP Systems International Inc.

sec.gov 

sec.gov 

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From: StockDung3/21/2012 10:48:40 AM
   of 118414
 
Bryant Cragun stock fraud Media Technologies Inc. (MDTC) down to 17 cents.

finance.yahoo.com 

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From: scion3/21/2012 11:09:20 AM
   of 118414
 
SEC v. Brian Hollnagel and BCI Aircraft Leasing, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:07-cv-4538 (N.D. Ill.) (Bucklo, J.)

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 22300 / March 20, 2012

SEC v. Brian Hollnagel and BCI Aircraft Leasing, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:07-cv-4538 (N.D. Ill.) (Bucklo, J.)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) announced that on March 14, 2012, a federal jury convicted Brian Hollnagel and BCI Aircraft Leasing Inc. on seven criminal counts, including fraud and obstruction charges for engaging in a fraudulent financing scheme that raised more than $50 million from investors and lenders. Brian Hollnagel, 38, of Chicago, the owner, president, and chief executive officer of BCI Aircraft Leasing Inc., and the corporation itself were each convicted of six counts of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice for obstructing the Commission’s 2007 lawsuit against them. As part of this verdict, Hollnagel and BCI were convicted of committing fraud and obstruction in connection with the provision of fraudulent court-ordered accountings of investor LLCs to the SEC during that litigation. U.S. v. Brian Hollnagel et al., Criminal Action No. 1:10-cr-0195 (N.D. Ill.) (St. Eve., J.).

On August 13, 2007, the Commission filed a civil injunctive complaint alleging that Defendants Hollnagel and BCI, from approximately 1998 through 2007, raised at least $82 million from approximately 120 investors as part of a fraudulent scheme in which the Defendants commingled investor funds, used investor funds to pay other investors, and failed to use investor funds as represented. The Complaint alleged that, as a result of their conduct, the Defendants violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Commission’s action remains pending.





sec.gov 

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