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   Strategies & Market TrendsAnthony @ Equity Investigations, Dear Anthony,


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From: StockDung4/15/2008 11:48:50 AM
   of 121961
 
FORUM: A monster shunned? By Donn W. Vickrey
April 15, 2008
washingtontimes.com

In the April 11 opinion piece "Shortchanged," Jonathan Johnson of Overstock.com wrote to express his concerns regarding "naked short selling." While I applaud Mr. Johnson"s dedication to a cause that he feels strongly about, I take issue with one of the basic premises of his thesis. Mr. Johnson argues that the financial press has somehow "short changed" Overstock"s battle with investment banking Goliaths and, therefore, neglected "the interests of increasingly disenfranchised small investors and victim companies." Perhaps Mr. Johnson should pay heed to Nietzsche"s advice that "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."

Given Mr. Johnson"s stated agenda, I find it ironic that his employer, Overstock.com, has a long history of lashing out at critics who dare to express a contrary opinion. Since July 2004, Overstock.com has consistently engaged in what the New York Times described as a "campaign of menace" (Feb. 25, 2006) wherein the Internet retailer has accused a broad assortment of analysts, investors, journalists, politicians, regulators and others in an improbable conspiracy to drive down its share price. For whatever reason, it"s the publishers of contrary viewpoints that have received the harshest treatment from Overstock.com, including a libel suit filed against my firm, an independent research company called Gradient Analytics, and targeted public criticism on more than 20 individual journalists. A half a dozen of those journalists also received SEC subpoenas in regards to Overstock"s "jihad."

The campaign of menace was escalated in late 2005, when Overstock apparently approached another disgruntled issuer, a Canadian drug firm called Biovail Corp., to join in the "jihad." Biovail"s role in the "jihad" is particularly disconcerting in light of a recently filed SEC complaint (March 24, 2008) alleging that "Biovail and [its] senior executives engaged in a pattern of systemic, chronic fraud that impacted its public filings of quarterly and annual reports over the course of four years."

According to Overstock Chairman Patrick Byrne"s own admissions, he "had a hand in" Biovail"s decision to file suit against 27 critics, including Gradient and analysts at Bank of America and Gerson Lehrman, by "sharing his wealth of information" with executives at the Canadian firm (New York Times, Feb. 25, 2006). Unfortunately for those caught in the cross-fire, Biovail"s retaliation has included not only costly litigation but a plethora of other dirty tricks such as hiring private investigators to harass analysts and conduct surveillance on firm principals. Other examples of issuer retaliation include several individuals who posed as potential clients to gain access to the offices of two of Biovail"s critics, the use of a stolen logon ID and password to access a Gradient server from the office of a Biovail attorney (IP address and login activity dutifully documented), and a decidedly slanted "60 Minutes," episode that obscured key facts and attempted to shift the blame from executives whom the SEC now alleges to have committed accounting fraud.

While the price paid by analyst firms is often steep, we must not lose sight of the fact that the most significant damage from issuer retaliation is the adverse impact on the investors who Mr. Johnson and Overstock claim to be advocates for. First, there is the direct impact on investors who are misled when an issuer successfully eliminates dissenting opinions by retaliation against contrarian analysts and journalists. Since filing its vexatious lawsuit in February 2006, Biovail shareholders have lost over half of their investment. Overstock shareholders have faired even worse. Second, there is the indirect impact that occurs when investors lose confidence in a system that strongly discourages analysts and journalists from expressing legitimate concerns.

The SEC has had the problem of issuer retaliation on its agenda now for nearly three years. The last word out of Washington came on Sept. 1, 2005, when SEC Chairman Christopher Cox responded to concerns expressed by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, indicating that the commission was "reviewing this matter and is currently considering several possible solutions for recommendation." A hand written note from the chairman, written at the bottom of the letter, also indicated that, "This is indeed a concern and we will tackle it." Our representatives and regulators must act now to tackle the problem of issuer retaliation before it gets any worse.

As for Mr. Johnson and his employer, if it is truly the small, disenfranchised investor that you are advocating for, please take a look in the mirror. It is only a matter of time before Mr. Hyde once and for all takes over from the good Dr. Jekyll.

Donn W. Vickrey is cofounder and editor-in-chief of Gradient Analytics Inc.

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From: StockDung4/15/2008 12:21:53 PM
   of 121961
 
FURTHER MTXX VINDICATION!! The Robins Group LLC (CRD #41894, Portland, Oregon) and Marcus Whitney Robins
(CRD #870347, Registered Principal, Portland, Oregon) submitted a Letter of
Acceptance,Waiver and Consent in which the firm was censured, fined $25,000, $5,000
of which was jointly and severally with Robins. Robins was suspended from association
with any FINRA member in any capacity for 20 business days and fined an additional
$31,458.59, which includes disgorgement of $16,458.59 in financial benefits received.
Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm and Robins consented to the
described sanctions and to the entry of findings that the firm permitted research
analysts, including Robins, to execute sales of securities in research analyst accounts
in a manner inconsistent with their recommendations, as reflected in the most recent
research reports the firm published. The findings stated that the firm permitted
research analysts, including Robins, to execute transactions of securities issued by
companies that the research analysts followed in research analyst accounts 30 days
before and five days after the publication of a research report concerning the
companies. The findings also stated that the firm authorized stock transactions that
NASD Rule 2711(g)(3) prohibited, purportedly based on an unanticipated change in
the personal financial circumstances of the beneficial owner of the research analyst
account, and failed to maintain written records regarding the transactions and the
justification for permitting themfor three years after the dates when the transactions
were approved. The findings also included that the firm, acting through Robin,
published research reports another analyst had written regarding a company, but the
report did not disclose that the company had compensated the analyst within the past
12 months. FINRA found that the firm published research reports regarding a company
and failed to disclose that the company had compensated a business entity affiliated
with the firm within the past 12 months. FINRA also found that Robins published
magazine articles, which a research analyst considered to be public appearances, and
failed to disclose to the publisher that he or a member of his household had a financial
interest in the securities of the companies, and the firm failed to maintain records of
the articles sufficient to demonstrate Robins’ compliance with the applicable disclosure
requirements of NASD Rule 2711(h) for three years after the articles were published.
In addition, FINRA determined that the firm failed to adopt or implement written
supervisory procedures reasonably designed to ensure that it and its employees comply
with NASD Rule 2711.Moreover, FINRA found that the firm published on its Web site
an inaccurate list of its registered persons, including its research analysts, and the
companies covered by their research, because some of the persons had terminated
their association with the firm.
The suspension in any capacity was in effect from March 17, 2008, through April 14,
2008. (FINRA Case #2005001863901)
2

finra.org

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To: StockDung who wrote (103308)4/15/2008 12:28:55 PM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 121961
 
I always wondered about Overstock's IR department. Now it's clear: "IR" stands for Issuer Retaliation. Thanks for posting that.

- Jeff

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From: SamAntar4/15/2008 1:10:32 PM
   of 121961
 
To Overstock.com's Audit Committee:

Free advice from Minkow, Antar, and Simpson (SEC guy that busted me)

agendaweek.com

Kindest regards,

Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO and a convicted felon)

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From: a-hole4/15/2008 3:08:47 PM
   of 121961
 
Greenberg is leaving Marketwatch. Anyone know why?

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To: a-hole who wrote (103312)4/15/2008 3:53:56 PM
From: kknightmcc
   of 121961
 
According to Herb Greenberg:

11:43:11 AM April 15th, 2008
On a Personal Note…
Just a bit of housekeeping – actually, house cleaning!

On May 1, I’m leaving MarketWatch, Dow Jones and traditional journalism to start an independent research firm with my friend, Debbie Meritz, an analyst/accountant who has been a very good source of ideas in the past.

I’ve devoted my career to journalism, starting in elementary school by delivering copies of the Miami News from my bicycle, to my first job out of college in 1974 as the first business reporter for the Boca Raton News.

I’ve since been part of the evolution of modern business journalism, working from beat reporter to correspondent to columnist to blogger.

When Debbie and I first started talking about the idea of setting up a research firm, it seemed like the next logicial step, just as it did when I left traditional print journalism 10 years ago to join the fledging online world.

Change is never easy, especially leaving a place as great as MarketWatch, which has been my home for the past four years. But change is also exciting and I’m looking forward to the next adventure.

Until then… you’re stuck with me for a few more weeks.

The beat goes on…

blogs.marketwatch.com

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From: StockDung4/15/2008 4:46:18 PM
   of 121961
 
UPDATE 2-US research firm countersues Web retailer Overstock
Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:14pm EDT
(Adds Overstock comment, trial date, byline)

By Martha Graybow

NEW YORK, April 15 (Reuters) - Gradient Analytics Inc has countersued Overstock.com (OSTK.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and the company's chief executive, Patrick Byrne, contending they waged a smear campaign after the research firm published unflattering reports about the online retailer.

In a 2005 lawsuit, Overstock accused Gradient of conspiring with hedge fund Rocker Partners, now known as Copper River Partners, to write negative research reports about the retailer and drive down its stock price. The hedge fund took a short position in the stock, which allowed it to profit from the stock decline, according to Overstock's claims.

Gradient said it filed its lawsuit on Monday after the California Superior Court granted its motion to bring the counterclaims. It accuses Byrne of libeling the research firm in remarks made to reporters, money managers and market analysts during conference calls and media interviews from 2004 to 2006.

"Public companies cannot have license to libel research firms and use litigation to retaliate against analysts who are critical of their business," Gradient President and CEO Brad Forst said in a statement on Tuesday.

The research firm accuses Overstock of defamation, tortuous interference with prospective business relations, and unfair business practices.

Overstock General Counsel Mark Griffin said there was "nothing new in this cross claim" and that the company was studying whether it could have the research firm's lawsuit dismissed.

"We knew this was coming. It has been filed late in the proceedings," he said. "We have been going more than two years defeating Gradient at every stage of the litigation. All major court contests Overstock has won. We fully expect to win this one."

Overstock's lawsuit is set to go to trial on Sept. 9.

Shortly after Salt Lake City-based Overstock brought the case in 2005, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched a probe into whether Scottsdale, Arizona-based Gradient helped manipulate stocks.

In February 2007, the SEC informed the research firm that it had ended the investigation and no enforcement action had been recommended, according to Gradient.

Overstock shares were down 2.3 percent to $13.49 in Tuesday afternoon trading on the Nasdaq. (Editing by Derek Caney and Tim Dobbyn)

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From: StockDung4/15/2008 4:58:57 PM
   of 121961
 
Some news out today on yet another Herb Greenberg victimized company:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Savvides & Partners/PKF Cyprus, et al., Civil Action No. 06 CV 2223 (S.D.N.Y.)

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20527 / April 15, 2008
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 2810 / April 15, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Savvides & Partners/PKF Cyprus, et al., Civil Action No. 06 CV 2223 (S.D.N.Y.)

PKF Cyprus Agrees to Injunction in Fraud Settlement in Connection With Audits of AremisSoft; Agrees to Pay $261,565 in Civil Penalties, Disgorgement and Prejudgment Interest
Savvides & Partners/PKF Cyprus (PKF Cyprus), a Cyprus-based accounting firm, has consented to the entry of a final judgment in the Commission's case charging it engaged in fraud in connection with its 1999 and 2000 audits of AremisSoft Corporation. The firm agreed to settle without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint. The settlement, which is subject to Court approval, would permanently enjoin PKF Cyprus from violating or aiding and abetting violations of the anti-fraud, reporting, books and records and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws: Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13b2-1. As part of this settlement, and following the entry of the proposed final judgment against it, PKF Cyprus, without admitting or denying the Commission's findings, has consented to the issuance of an administrative order pursuant to Rule 102(e)(3) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, suspending it from appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant, with the right to apply for reinstatement after five years. PKF Cyprus will disgorge $106,513, which includes fees received as a result of its engagements to audit the financial statements of AremisSoft, with prejudgment interest of $48,539, and a $106,513 civil money penalty.

In its complaint filed March 21, 2006, the Commission alleged that PKF Cyprus issued audit reports for AremisSoft subsidiaries in 1999 and 2000 signed by former firm partner Pavlos Meletiou (also named as a defendant in the complaint) that falsely stated that its audits were conducted in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (U.S. GAAS) and that the subsidiaries' financial statements were fairly presented in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP). The false financial statements of these companies were included as part of AremisSoft's consolidated financial statements filed with AremisSoft's year 1999 and 2000 Forms 10-K filed with the Commission, and in AremisSoft registration statements. The complaint also alleges that the PKF Cyprus audit workpapers prepared by Meletiou during the 2000 audits of two AremisSoft subsidiaries, found in a trash heap outside AremisSoft's Indian offices, included phony customer and bank confirmations. The complaint further alleges that Meletiou attended meetings with senior AremisSoft executives in which the AremisSoft financial fraud was openly discussed.

For additional information, see Litigation Release No. 19622 / March 22, 2006.

sec.gov

=============================================

AremisSoft: Not Answering Questions, Not
Telling the Whole Story
By Herb Greenberg
Senior Columnist
7/6/01 3:31 PM ET

Not telling the whole story, lapses in explanations or simply not answering
questions continues at AremisSoft (AREM:Nasdaq - news - commentary).
Most of the focus, so far, has been on whether the company last year
received $7 million from Bulgaria's National Health Insurance Fund, as
AremisSoft claims, or $1.7 million, as has been claimed by the fund. The
company has not explained the discrepancy.

But that's not the only question AremisSoft won't address.

Consider the case of Info-Quest, a Greek company. In 1999 Info-Quest
bought 3 million shares of stock from AremisSoft and AremisSoft CEO
Lycourgos Kyprianou. Then, last year, Info-Quest said in an SEC filing that it
had bought another 692,923 AremisSoft shares "from AremisSoft." Funny,
AremisSoft never disclosed selling any shares to Info-Quest then. So, if not
AremisSoft, from whom did Info-Quest buy the shares? (I ask only because
according to its SEC filings, Info-Quest deposited the proceeds, in escrow,
with AremisSoft's attorneys, which suggests the shares are from AremisSoft
or insiders.)

I asked that question on June 22, in an email to AremisSoft Executive Vice
President Paul Bloom, as well as an official of Info-Quest, and both responded
that shares were bought from "selling shareholders," not AremisSoft.
(Info-Quest followed up with an amended 13-D that included the clarification.
This was the second of my inquiries, in recent weeks, that resulted in an
amended SEC filing related to AremisSoft. The first was its 10-K, which was
amended after I made an inquiry by email about why AremisSoft didn't include
a signed copy of its independent auditors report. Talk about lapses!)

OK, so who were the selling shareholders? Neither AremisSoft nor Info-Quest
will say. Bloom said he would forward my question, though didn't say to whom
he was forwarding it. (I never received a response from the forwardee.) If the
sellers were insiders, shouldn't the sellers have filed the sale with the SEC?
Or were these unregistered shares sold in a private transaction? Or were the
shares from nonexecutive holders who owned the shares long enough to avoid
an above-the-radar filing on the SEC's EDGAR system? Whatever the case,
it's a simple question to which there undoubtedly is a simple answer.
(Info-Quest has since dumped a large chunk of its AremisSoft holdings, with
most of the sales in recent weeks. No explanation was given for the sales.)

Next, there's a question about who AremisSoft Chief Financial Officer Michael
Tymvios really works for. His bio in AremisSoft's prior proxy statements says
that from 1991 to 1999 he was a partner at Morison International, which
AremisSoft describes as "a certified public accounting firm" based in the
United Kingdom. However, Bridgette Ovesen, executive director of Morison,
told my associate, Mark Martinez, that Tymvios wasn't a partner at Morison
because Morison has no partners.

Instead, she says, Tymvios is a partner at his own Cyprus accounting firm,
Patsalides & Tymvios, which is a member of Morison's network. (That's
confirmed, oddly enough, by Patsalides & Tymvios' Web site, which bills the
firm as "an associate member" of Morison. One of its specialties, by the way,
is helping set up offshore companies.) Ovesen adds that Tymvios is still a
partner in Patsalides & Tymvios, and his firm is still part of the network. So
which one is his full-time gig? Being CFO of AremisSoft or being partner in his
own accounting firm? I asked Bloom about Tymvios on June 29, via email, and
he never responded to the question. But (surprise, surprise) in an SEC filing
today, the company revised Tymvios' bio (the third change following one of my
questions!) to indicate that his relationship with his accounting firm lasted
from 1991 to 1999. (But that's not what Morison's Ovesen says!) And
AremisSoft also changed its description of Morison from being "a certified
public accounting firm" to " a network of independent accountants, tax
advisers, business consultants and lawyers." (Can't help but wonder what
other details will need to be revised.)

Oh, and that bit about Morison being an accounting firm? Not exactly.
According to Morison's Web site, Morison is a "world wide network of
professional business advisers, founded in 1990." I asked Bloom about
Tymvios last Friday, via email, along with several other questions, including
whether the company would ever respond to my prior question about who the
selling shareholders were. Bloom responded, but about something else I had
asked -- not about Tymvios or the identity of the "selling shareholders" who
sold to Info-Quest.

The question Bloom did respond to was why AremisSoft doesn't disclose,
somewhere in its proxy, that AremisSoft CEO Kyprianou is also
"nonexecutive chairman" of GlobalSoft, a Cyprus company in which
AremisSoft owns a 7.1% stake. (According to GlobalSoft's listing on the
Cyprus Stock Exchange, Kyprianou is also president of GlobalSoft.)
AremisSoft has disclosed Kyprianou's dual chairmanships in various press
releases and other public filings, but not in the one place you would expect to
see it: the proxy. Why not? Because, according to a company press release
Bloom referred me to, Kyprianou doesn't "directly" own any stock in
GlobalSoft. (He indirectly owns it through AremisSoft, in which he owns 3.78
million shares, or 9.62%.)

Which brings us to GlobalSoft (officially listed on the Cyprus exchange as
L.K. GlobalSoft, with the L.K. standing for Lycourgos Kyprianou): In April,
AremisSoft announced plans to boost its GlobalSoft stake to a controlling
59.5%. Last month, AremisSoft abruptly canceled the plan. Since then, the
stock of GlobalSoft, which makes software, has plunged, which is not good
news for GlobalSoft's nine largest investors, who bought majority control of
GlobalSoft's stock in late 1999.

In its prospectus (according to a translation from Greek), GlobalSoft said the
shares were shifted to those investors to "obtain a further broadening of the
capital base." Interestingly, six of those investors were registered on the
same day by the same attorney in the British Virgin Islands -- just two weeks
before they received the GlobalSoft shares. (For what it's worth, several
months earlier, an investment partnership whose sole purpose is managing
Kyprianou's stock option investments -- Sincock Holdings -- was registered
in the British Virgin Islands, using the same attorney. Kyprianou is identified
in an SEC filing as Sincock's investment manager.)

Not answering questions and not telling the whole story extends to
AremisSoft investor Irwin Jacobs, who seems to be acting as the de facto
spokesman for AremisSoft. Jacobs has taken numerous swipes at this
column in recent weeks for its coverage of AremisSoft. Much of Jacobs'
commentary, though, has been message board-esque: not telling quite the
whole story (and then not alerting readers when he changes the information).

On June 8, for example, Jacobs wrote on his Web site that Info-Quest had
publicly stated its intention to sell 1.5 million shares of AremisSoft "over 12 to
18 months. I understand," he wrote, "that they have already sold one million
shares." He then said he believed an SEC filing by the company to sell
another 500,000 shares "should complete their selling program." He added
that the Info-Quest sales "shouldn't be of any concern" because they're not
dilutive to existing holders and to his knowledge Info-Quest "is actually
looking for a price above $15 for their shares."

Jacobs later altered his letter (without any notice that it had been changed) to
remove the mention of price. For good reason: As it turns out, based on its
amended 13-D last week, Info-Quest actually sold nearly 2.2 million shares,
not 1.5 million. And the selling continues well beyond June 8 -- until June 27,
at prices that dipped below $13. What's more, earlier this week, Info-Quest
filed to sell another 480,000 shares. What does Jacobs think of Info-Quest's
sales now? He didn't respond to my email last week asking why there was a
discrepancy between what he wrote and what actually happened.

Not answering questions is common for companies under fire. But for a
company to simply ignore some questions, while answering others, is off the
baseline. Then again, so is the entire AremisSoft story.

Editor's note: In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San
Francisco, AremisSoft claimed TheStreet.com and a number of hedge funds
conspired to drive down the price of the software maker's stock. Click here to
read more.

Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's
editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns
stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other
private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback and invites you
to send any to Herb Greenberg. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for
Fortune.

Brian Harris assisted with the reporting of this column.

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From: StockDung4/15/2008 6:12:36 PM
   of 121961
 
JONATHAN LEBED GETS 1.25 MILLION FREE TRADING SHARES IN LATEST CONTRACTED ONE MONTH PROMOTION OF SPNG FROM DOUGLAS G. FURTH. LEBED HAS ALREADY SOLD THESE SHARES.

"My firm Lebed Biz LLC has been compensated by a third-party (Doug Furth) 1,250,000 free-trading shares of SPNG for a one-month investor relations contract. I have already sold these shares. Never invest into a stock we discuss unless you can afford to lose your entire investment. For our full disclaimer go to: www.lebed.biz/disclaimer.htm "


From: alertlebed@aol.com
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Sent: 4/15/2008 5:37:03 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Lebed.biz Alert - SPNG just reported BREATHTAKING earnings!


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SPNG's 3Q net income was $188,482 up 2,074% from 2Q net income of $8,668!

SPNG's 3Q net income on an annualized basis is $753,928.

SPNG finished the quarter with 196,294,078 shares outstanding. Based on that, SPNG's annualized EPS based on 3Q results would be $0.00384.

A modest P/E ratio of just 20 would value SPNG at $0.0768!

SPNG closed today at only $0.025!

SPNG also said in their 10-Q, "we have orders of approximately $18,391,702, which we anticipate will be filled by January 17, 2009". This means in the next three quarters SPNG will see SIGNIFICANT growth and the 3Q numbers that just came out... although HUGE... are ABSOLUTELY NOTHING compared to what's to come!

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Lebed.biz
Staff

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From: StockDung4/15/2008 7:24:27 PM
   of 121961
 
US SEC issues warning list of fake investment firms
Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:53pm EDT
WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday it launched a crackdown on online boiler rooms and other suspicious investment solicitations that may be trying to bilk investors.

Consumers who are weighing a possible investment should first check a new SEC website that lists solicitations made by entities that have made phony claims of being affiliated with established broker firms or registered with the SEC, the agency said.

Some also boast false U.S. addresses or endorsements from make-believe government agencies, the SEC said.

The new list initially included 56 firms and will be updated regularly.

"Anyone thinking about investing online needs this in their tool kit," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in a statement. "By arming investors with this online resource, we're making it increasingly difficult for swindlers to succeed with their illegal activities."

In general, U.S. firms that solicit consumers for the purchase or sale of securities are required to register with the SEC.

The new list was compiled from investor complaints and from foreign regulators, the agency said.

"These schemes, which often purport to be legitimate entities located in the U.S., have been mercilessly targeting UK investors, particularly our vulnerable senior citizens, with assurances about bogus opportunities to invest in the U.S. market," Steve Wilmott, head of the London police department's economic crime unit, said in the statement.

The SEC said that for each entity on its new list, agency staff found there was no U.S.-registered securities firm with that name, or it falsely claimed an affiliation with an established firm.

The SEC warning list was posted on the Internet at: here. (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Andre Grenon)

sec.gov

Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE)
List of Unregistered Soliciting Entities That Have Been the Subject of Investor Complaints
The SEC receives complaints from investors and others, including foreign securities regulators, about securities solicitations made by entities that claim to be registered, licensed and/or located in the United States in their solicitation of non-US investors, and entities not registered in the United States that are soliciting US investors. In some cases, the complaints are about entities claiming to offer investments endorsed by governmental agencies, including the SEC. These claims are important because when an entity claims to be registered with the SEC, it is in effect claiming that it has made itself available for SEC regulation and oversight. Generally, US entities that solicit you to purchase or sell securities for your own account are required to register with the SEC. For this reason, it is important for you to consider whether the entity that solicits you is, in fact, registered with the SEC.

The SEC has looked into these complaints and has learned that in many cases, the soliciting entities are not registered in the United States as they claim or imply. In an effort to warn the public about these entities, the SEC is publishing information it has learned in reviewing these complaints

For each of the entities named below, our staff has determined either (1) that there is no US registered securities firm with this name, or (2) that there is a US registered securities firm with the same (or a similar) name but that solicitations appear to have been made by persons who are not affiliated with the US registered securities firm.

In addition, the "Comments" section for each entity provides additional relevant information we have learned, by answering the following questions:

Is the entity registered in the United States?

Is the entity using a name that is the same as, or similar to, the name of a US registered securities firm notwithstanding the fact that the soliciting persons are not affiliated with a US registered securities firm? FINRA (formerly, the "NASD") maintains a public registry of its broker-dealer members and their sales personnel. Using this website, you can verify both the registration and address of any FINRA-registered US broker-dealer and any individual US securities broker. Checking PAUSE is not a substitute for checking the public registry. Here is the link to that registry: nasd.com
ChecktheBackgroundofYourInvestmentProfessional/index.htm

Does the entity claim an endorsement, approval or other support by a governmental agency or international organization that does not exist or does not really lend support to the entity or the investments it is offering? For a list of fictitious governmental agencies and international organizations that are referenced in investor complaints, [click here]. As reflected in the SEC's investor alert entitled, "Fake Seals and Phony Numbers: How Fraudsters Try to Look Legit," the SEC does not "approve" or "endorse" any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms, or individuals, and does not allow private entities to use its government seal. Here is the link to the SEC investor alert: sec.gov.


The SEC will regularly update this list.

You should be aware that this list does not include all unregistered entities or entities that have been the subject of complaints received by the SEC. Also, you should understand that the inclusion of a name on this list does not mean that the SEC has concluded that a violation of the US securities laws has occurred or that the SEC has made any judgment about the merits of the securities being offered by these entities.

To see the official SEC release describing and providing more details about this list, [click here]. If you have information, questions or comments about the entities on this list, please contact oiea@sec.gov or call 202-551-6551.

Name Comment
Allen Brothers M&A
2733 Vine St.
Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone: 513-488-0508
Fax: 513-488-0509

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Bainbridge Management
999 3rd Avenue
Suite 3800
Seattle, Washington 98101/98104
Phone: 206-774-1943
Fax: 206-374-3024

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Beacon Global Management, Inc.
Tower Executive Suites
10940 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: 866-365-0738
Fax: 213-947-4787

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Belmont Shaw and Associates Mergers and Acquisitions
80 N. 3rd Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: 623-707-8676
Fax: 623-707-8677

No US registered securities firm with this name.
An onsite inspection conducted on May 1, 2007 by the State of Arizona Corporation Commission found that the address given for this entity does not exist.
Claims to be endorsed by, or makes other reference in its solicitations to, the International Compliance Assistance Center, an alleged claim-filing and fund recovery service provider for commercial and securities class-action settlements. This entity is believed to be fictitious.

Berger Aron Macey
1240 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2700
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: 404-592-5106
Fax: 404-795-0613

No US registered securities firm with this name.


Bremer Financial Ltd.
Howard Hughes Center
6601 Center Drive, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: 213-403-0107
Fax: 213-403-0109

No US registered securities firm with this name.


Cameron McDonald & Co.
625 4th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: 612-234-4048
Fax: 612-234-4049

No US registered securities firm with this name.


Capital One Management Inc.
Maine Business Center
415 Congress Street, Suite 102
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: 212-330-9008
Fax: 212-330-9009

No US registered securities firm with this name.


Century Management Division, Inc.
23351 Ford Rd.
Dearborn, MI 48128
Phone: 313-447-4477
Fax: 313-447-4477

No US registered securities firm with this name.


Charlton Hayfield and Company
30 E. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-947-0111
Fax: 614-947-0102

No US registered securities firm with this name.


City Capital Mergers & Acquisitions
6990 W. Cedar Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226
Phone: 303-353-0736
Fax: 303-353-0737

No US registered securities firm with this name.


Coleman Brothers
1800 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-952-5896
Fax: 303-952-5801, 303-952-5901

No US registered securities firm with this name.
Claims to be endorsed by, or makes other reference in its solicitations to, the Securities Compliance Agency, an alleged claim-filing and fund recovery service provider for commercial and securities class-action settlements. This entity is believed to be fictitious.

Collett Quinlan M&A
50 Hurt Plaza, SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 404-671-8082
Fax: 404-671-8083

No US registered securities firm with this name.

The Equity Exchange Group Portfolio Management (Limited)
1 Federal Street, Floor 28
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-499-4856
Fax: 617-499-4857

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Ferguson Hathaway Consulting, Ltd./FH Consulting
2101 Wall Street Center
14 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
Phone: 212-461-1487
Fax: 646-224-8941

No US registered securities firm with this name.

FinAllianz
W. 50th St., Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 646-810-6182
Fax: 484-993-3822

No US registered securities firm with this name.

First Liberty Transfer Agency, LLC
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-449-9593
Fax: 202-379-9299

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Global Direct Financial Inc.
Aura Executive Center
695 Central Avenue, Suite 110
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 786-228-4959
Head Office
93 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 212-465-3259

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Golden Medallion Trading
Stanford Corporate Center
14001 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 1400
Dallas, TX 75240
Phone: 866-296-7051
Fax: 817-977-5237

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Grant Group LLC
1120 Broadway, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 646-224-8723
Fax: 646-224-8724

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Griffin Mergers and Acquisitions
8th Street and Nicollet Mall, Downtown
Minneapolis, MN 55402-8773
Phone: 612-284-2417
Fax: 612-677-3711

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Hopewood and Company
413 4th Ave. S.
Columbus, MS 39701
Phone: 662-913-0603
Fax: 662-913-0604

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Howell and Johnson Associates
1422 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: 216-744-1026
Fax: 216-744-1027

No US registered securities firm with this name.
Website shows different phone numbers, with Atlanta area codes, from those used in solicitation materials.

Imperial Quest Ventures, Ltd.
The Hancock Center
875 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 866-365-3685
Fax: 312-205-6421, 312-277-3321

No US registered securities firm with this name.
Claims to be recognized by the SEC and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Neither the SEC nor the Federal Trade Commission has endorsed this entity.

J. Rowan Associates
230 Peachtree St.
NW Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 678-954-0520
Fax: 678 954 0521

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Kennedy, Anderson & Lang
60 E. 42nd St., Suite 1516
New York, NY 10165
Phone: 646-290-8536
Fax: 646-290-8922
Website (now offline): kal-ny.com

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Kobe Asset Management
One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, Suite 2100
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-235-0107
Fax: 412-202-0736

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Landmark M&A, Inc.
445 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 646-530-8783
Fax: 646-417-7996

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Lindenberg Asset Management
One Market Street, Spear Tower, 33th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-373-5248
Fax: 415-276-6023

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Lloyd Brown Investments, Inc.
Hancock Center
875 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3100
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-416-0876
Fax: 312-416-0877

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Maitland Bell & Co.
2201 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: 602-926-1314
Fax: 602-926-1315

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Miller & Ross
Lexington Avenue, Manhattan-Midtown
Turtle Bay, NY 10107
Fax: 646-478-9513

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Universal Partners Mergers & Acquisitions
300 Main Street
Lafayette, IN 47901
Phone: 765-637-0102
Fax: 765-637-0103

No US registered securities firm with this name.
Claims to be endorsed by, or makes other reference in its solicitations to, the Regulatory Advisory Commission, an alleged claim-filing and fund recovery service provider for commercial and securities class-action settlements. This entity is believed to be fictitious.

Warren Sitco & Company
919 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: 302-391-0803
Fax: 302-391-0804

No US registered securities firm with this name.
Claims to be endorsed by, or makes other reference in its solicitations to, the Securities Compliance Agency, an alleged claim-filing and fund recovery service for commercial and securities class-action settlements. This entity is believed to be fictitious.

Wellington Mergers and Acquisitions
3340 Peachtree Road NE, Buckhead Area
Atlanta, GA 30326-1081
Phone: 404-592-4540
Fax: 404-759-2088

No US registered securities firm with this name.
Claims to be endorsed by, or makes other reference in its solicitations to, International Stock Regulators, an alleged claim-filing and fund recovery service for commercial and securities class-action settlements. This entity is believed to be fictitious.

Western Capital, Inc.
Empire State Building
350 5th Avenue, Suite 2108
New York, NY 10118
Phone 866-365-0736
Fax: 646-224-8765

No US registered securities firm with this name.

Wiess & Associates Ltd.
203 North LaSalle Center
Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 800-578-8365
Fax: 312-277-7553

No US registered securities firm with this name.


sec.gov

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Home | Previous Page Modified: 04/15/2008

sec.gov
Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE)
List of Fictitious Governmental Agencies and International Organizations Associated with Soliciting Entities
The SEC receives complaints from investors and others, including foreign securities regulators, about securities solicitations made by entities claiming to offer investments endorsed, approved, or otherwise supported by governmental agencies, including the SEC, or international organizations. As reflected in the SEC's investor alert entitled, "Fake Seals and Phony Numbers: How Fraudsters Try to Look Legit," the SEC does not "approve" or "endorse" any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms, or individuals, and does not allow private entities to use its government seal. Here is the link to the SEC investor alert: sec.gov

The SEC has looked into these complaints and has learned that in many cases, the governmental agencies or international organizations claimed to have lent support to such investments do not exist. In an effort to warn the public about these entities, the SEC is posting the list below. The SEC will regularly update this list.

You should be aware that this list does not include all fictitious governmental agencies and international organizations. Also, you should understand that the inclusion of a name on this list does not mean that the SEC has concluded that a violation of the US securities laws has occurred or that the SEC has made any judgment about the merits of the securities being offered.

For a list of entities claiming to be registered, licensed and/or located in the United States and that have been the subject of investor complaints [click here] to access PAUSE. To see the official SEC release describing and providing more details about this list, [click here].

If you have information, questions or comments about the entities on this list, please contact oiea@sec.gov or call 202-551-6551.

Name Comment
The Center for Securities Department
1870 Twin Towers East
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: 770-824-0505
Fax: 770-206-2394 and 770-872-5506



Center For Securities Investigation Department
324 W. Main St.
Brighton, MI 48116
Phone: 810-852-1701
Fax: 810-852-1702



Central Stock Regulators
3200 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-349-9977
Fax: 615-250-4897



Global Compliance Agency
201 S. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28244
Phone: 704-817-0614
Fax: 704-817-0615



Global Investments Compliance Center
5005 Rockside Road
Independence, OH 44131
Phone: 216-220-1600
Fax: 216-220-1601



Global Securities Crime Investigators
7700 Queens Ferry Lane
Dallas, TX 75248



Global Securities Protection Agency
41 Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 678-954-0522
Fax: 678-954-0523



International Association of Transfer Agents
30 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005



International Commission of Securities
600 Superior Avenue East
Fifth Third Building Suite 1300
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: 440-869-9952
Fax: 440-848-2305

Onsite inspections conducted over the past year by the Ohio Division of Securities found that no regulatory agency was located at the address given for this entity.

International Compliance Assistance Center
41 S. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-947 0105
Fax: 614-947 0106



International Equities Administrators
5865 Ridgeway Center Parkway, Suite 350
Memphis, TN 38120
Phone: 901-896-0327
Fax: 901-339-0522



International Fraud Assessment Agency
1001 Fourth Ave. Plaza
Seattle, WA 98154
Phone: 206-274-0077
Fax: 206-260-3086



International Securities Accreditation Authority
30 E. Broadway
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone: 801-618-2100
Fax: 801-618-2119



International Securities Administrators
312 Walnut Street, Suite 1500
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513-297-1593
Fax: 513-672-2308



International Securities Regulators
101 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617-861-9038
Fax: 617-507-1076



International Shareholders Compliance Department
500 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 320
Chicago, Il 60611
Phone: 312-281-0329
Fax: 312-276-4752



International Stock Regulators
2415 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: 602-357-1678
Fax: 602-391-2036


Onsite inspections conducted April 30, 2007 by the State of Arizona Corporation Commission found that the purported regulatory agency was not located at the address given for this entity.

Regulatory Advisory Commission
350 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: 734-619-0501
Fax: 734-619-0502



Securities Compliance Agency
212 S. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28281
Phone: 704-817-0609
Fax: 704-817-0610




To view the SEC's Data Quality Guidelines, click [http://www.sec.gov/about/dataqualityguide.htm].



sec.gov

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