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   Strategies & Market TrendsAnthony @ Equity Investigations, Dear Anthony,


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From: scion11/15/2018 5:20:30 PM
   of 122029
 
SEC Charges Giga Entertainment Media, Former Officers and Directors With Fraud in Pay-For-Download Campaign

SEC Complaint
sec.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2018-263

Washington D.C., Nov. 15, 2018 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Giga Entertainment Media Inc. and five of its former officers and directors—Gary Nerlinger, Jarret Streiner, Lawrence Silver, Alfred Colucci, and Charles Noska—with fraud in connection with a scheme to mislead investors.

According to the SEC’s complaint, between February and August 2016, the company bought at least 559,662 downloads from outside marketing firms to boost the profile of the company’s mobile app, SELFEO. These firms provided Giga with a shortcut to propel its app to the top of the Apple Store download rankings. But instead of disclosing the real cause of the app’s artificial meteoric rise, the company misled its shareholders into believing that this success was due to traditional marketing tactics like billboards and radio advertisements. The complaint alleges that when the company stopped paying for downloads in August 2016, the app’s rankings on the Apple Store plummeted. Rather than come clean about the fact that the spike in downloads was a result of paid download campaigns, the company, Nerlinger, Streiner, and Colucci lied and told shareholders that the number of downloads continued to grow at the same high rate. Further, Nerlinger, Silver, Colucci, and Noska lied and falsified documents to conceal Nerlinger’s role as Giga’s de facto CEO to prevent the investors from discovering his prior criminal conviction for mail fraud.

“Exposing Giga’s fraud should remind companies that they cannot buy a crowd and then claim to be popular,” said Melissa R. Hodgman, Associate Director of Enforcement. “Tech companies can buy clicks or employ other new marketing tools to improve their on-line image, but they have to be honest with investors when touting the fruits of such efforts.”

Without admitting or denying the findings, Giga, Nerlinger, Silver, Colucci, Noska, and Streiner consented to the entry of an SEC order finding that they violated the antifraud provisions, and a finding that Giga violated registration provisions of the federal securities laws. Colucci and Noska each agreed to a $25,000 penalty, and Streiner agreed to a $15,000 penalty. The court will determine what penalty Silver will pay and what disgorgement and penalty Nerlinger will pay. In addition, Nerlinger, Silver, and Colucci each agreed to a permanent officer and director bar, and Streiner agreed to a five-year bar.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Christopher R. Mathews and Edward B. Gerard and supervised by J. Lee Buck II in the Washington, DC headquarters. Nicholas A. Pilgrim will serve as the trial attorney.

###

sec.gov

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From: scion11/28/2018 3:41:01 AM
   of 122029
 
Two International Cybercriminal Rings Dismantled and Eight Defendants Indicted for Causing Tens of Millions of Dollars in Losses in Digital Advertising Fraud

Global Botnets Shut Down Following Arrests

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A 13-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Aleksandr Zhukov, Boris Timokhin, Mikhail Andreev, Denis Avdeev, Dmitry Novikov, Sergey Ovsyannikov, Aleksandr Isaev and Yevgeniy Timchenko with criminal violations for their involvement in perpetrating widespread digital advertising fraud. The charges include wire fraud, computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Ovsyannikov was arrested last month in Malaysia; Zhukov was arrested earlier this month in Bulgaria; and Timchenko was arrested earlier this month in Estonia, all pursuant to provisional arrest warrants issued at the request of the United States. They await extradition. The remaining defendants are at large.

Also unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn were seizure warrants authorizing the FBI to take control of 31 internet domains, and search warrants authorizing the FBI to take information from 89 computer servers, that were all part of the infrastructure for botnets engaged in digital advertising fraud activity. The FBI, working with private sector partners, redirected the internet traffic going to the domains (an action known as “sinkholing”) in order to disrupt and dismantle these botnets.

...
justice.gov

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From: scion11/28/2018 11:49:50 AM
   of 122029
 
SEC Charges Four in Fraudulent Microcap Manipulation Scheme Orchestrated Through International Accounts

SEC Complaint
sec.gov

Litigation Release No. 24361 / November 28, 2018
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Morrie Tobin et al., Civil Action No. 1:18-CV-12451 (D. Mass. filed November 27, 2018)

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged four individuals for their roles in a scheme to profit from the manipulation and illegal sale of stock of two publicly traded companies, Environmental Packaging Technologies Holdings, Inc. and CURE Pharmaceutical Holding Corp.

According to the SEC's complaint, Morrie Tobin, a California resident, worked with co-defendants Milan Patel, Matthew Ledvina, and Daniel Lacher to facilitate Tobin's scheme. Patel and Ledvina, attorneys at an international tax law firm, and Lacher, a resident of Switzerland, allegedly hid Tobin's ownership and control over the companies by using offshore entitites to hold his stock and by establishing accounts to sell that stock at Wintercap SA, a Swiss-based company run by U.K. citizen Roger Knox. On October 2, 2018, the SEC filed an emergency action and obtained an asset freeze against Knox and Wintercap, charging them with a scheme that generated more than $165 million of illegal sales of stock in at least 50 microcap companies.

The SEC's complaint charges that to maximize profits from the alleged scheme, the defendants arranged to pay a stock promoter to tout the stock of Environmental Packaging while creating the impression that the recommendation came from a neutral third party. Environmental Packaging shares more than doubled, from approximately $1.05 per share to $2.21 per share, during the promotional campaign. Patel, Ledvina, and Lacher allegedly planned to collect a percentage of the proceeds from the unlawful sales.

According to the complaint, after the SEC halted trading in the securities of Environmental Packaging on June 27, 2017, the defendants took steps to obstruct the SEC's investigation - and conceal their own involvement in the matter - by arranging to change the names listed on Wintercap account records.

The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Massachusetts, charges Tobin, Patel, Ledvina, and Lacher with violating various federal securities laws, including the antifraud provisions of Sections 17(a)(1) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder, and the securities registration provisions of Sections 5(a) and (c) of the Securities Act. The SEC seeks a permanent injunction against future violations, disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, penny stock bars, and monetary penalties.

The SEC's case is being handled by J. Lauchlan Wash, Trevor Donelan, Eric Forni, David Scheffler, Rebecca Israel, Jonathan Allen, Kathleen Shields, and Amy Gwiazda of the SEC's Boston Regional Office, in coordination with the Enforcement Division's Microcap Fraud Task Force. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Ontario Securities Commission, and the Malta Financial Services Authority.

sec.gov

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From: scion11/28/2018 5:47:55 PM
   of 122029
 
SEC Charges Self-Described Promoter With Microcap Market Manipulation Scheme

SEC Complaint
sec.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2018-266

Washington D.C., Nov. 28, 2018 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a self-described penny stock promoter and an entity he controlled with orchestrating a scheme to manipulate trading in at least 97 microcap stocks.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Eric Landis of Charlottesville, Virginia, falsely claimed to third-party media buyers for microcap companies that he would distribute promotional materials for the stocks via email lists with tens of thousands of subscribers. In reality, his distribution lists were a sham. To generate trading volume and create the false impression that he was drumming up investor interest, the SEC alleges that Landis traded thousands of microcap shares himself using brokerage accounts in his own name, in the name of an entity he controlled, Ridgeview Capital Partners LLC, and in the names of several third parties. Altogether, the SEC alleges that Landis placed thousands of manipulative trades over three years, including approximately 1,300 “matched trades,” which involved simultaneously selling and buying stocks in the microcap companies he was paid to promote.

“Microcap investors should know that sometimes market volume in a particular stock can be driven by a single fraudulent actor, as alleged here,” said Paul Levenson, Director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office. “Our thorough analysis allowed us to detect thousands of manipulative trades by Landis.”

The SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, charges Landis and Ridgeview with violating the antifraud and market manipulation provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC seeks a permanent injunction against future violations, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, monetary penalties, and a penny stock bar.

Landis was previously found liable in a lawsuit brought by the SEC and convicted of related criminal charges based on his role in a prior market manipulation scheme. Before investing, microcap investors should review the investor-education materials available at Investor.gov.

The SEC’s case is being handled by Trevor Donelan, Jonathan Allen, Eric Forni, Kathleen Shields, J. Lauchlan Wash, Rebecca Israel, David Scheffler, and Amy Gwiazda of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office and assisted by Alex Lefferts in the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence and coordinated with the Enforcement Division’s Microcap Fraud Task Force. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

###

sec.gov

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From: scion12/4/2018 5:24:00 PM
   of 122029
 
Four Defendants Charged In Panama Papers Investigation

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
justice.gov

Four Defendants Charged In Panama Papers Investigation

Indictment Unsealed Today Charges Four Defendants for Their Roles Global Law Firm’s Decades-Long Scheme to Defraud the United States in Panamanian-Based

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Don Fort, Chief, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), and Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging RAMSES OWENS, DIRK BRAUER, RICHARD GAFFEY, and HARALD JOACHIM VON DER GOLTZ, with wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, and other offenses in connection with their roles in a decades-long criminal scheme perpetrated by Mossack Fonseca & Co. (“Mossack Fonseca”), a Panamanian-based global law firm, and related entities.

Three of the four defendants named in the indictment have been arrested. BRAUER, who worked as an investment manager for Mossfon Asset Management, S.A., an asset management company closely affiliated with Mossack Fonseca, was arrested in Paris, France, on November 15, 2018. VON DER GOLTZ, a former U.S. resident and taxpayer, was arrested in London, United Kingdom, on December 3, 2018. GAFFEY, a U.S.-based accountant, was arrested in Medfield, Massachusetts, this morning. OWENS, a Panamanian attorney who worked for Mossack Fonseca, remains at large.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As alleged, these defendants went to extraordinary lengths to circumvent U.S. tax laws in order to maintain their wealth and the wealth of their clients. For decades, the defendants, employees and a client of global law firm Mossack Fonseca, allegedly shuffled millions of dollars through off-shore accounts and created shell companies to hide fortunes. In fact, as alleged, they had a playbook to repatriate un-taxed money into the U.S. banking system. Now, their international tax scheme is over, and these defendants face years in prison for their crimes.”

AAG Brian A. Benczkowski said: “Law firms, asset managers, and accountants play key roles enabling entry into the global financial system. The charges announced today demonstrate our commitment to prosecute professionals who facilitate financial crimes across international borders and the tax cheats who utilize their services.”

IRS-CI Chief Don Fort said: “The unsealing of this indictment sends a clear message that IRS-CI is actively engaged in international tax enforcement, and more investigations are on the way. IRS-CI specializes in unraveling these intricate offshore tax schemes and following the money around the globe wherever it may lead. Cases like this help maintain the public’s confidence in our tax system by letting them know that we investigate and prosecute those who evade their tax obligation.”

HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez said: “Today we announce the indictment of four individuals who allegedly defrauded the U.S. government through a large scale, intercontinental money laundering and wire fraud scheme, associated with Mossack Fonseca and its affiliates. HSI’s El Dorado Task Force, together with the IRS, built a case that uncovered an alleged complex trail of offshore shell corporations and bogus foundations used to disguise the beneficial ownership of huge amounts of money. These efforts reflect the commitment of U.S. law enforcement to follow that trail and apprehend these criminal regardless where they are in the world.”
...
MORE
justice.gov

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To: scion who wrote (121884)12/4/2018 10:02:56 PM
From: Graystone
   of 122029
 
Daily happenings
or
Panama leaks

It is good to see that domino fall, let us hope it is just the start though. Every day across North America and Europe large firms that are supposed to be respectable go "to extraordinary lengths to circumvent U.S. tax laws in order to maintain their wealth and the wealth of their clients".
Throw in Canadian, British, French, German, Australian and Japanese firms and their clients and their wealth as well. The 1% respect no rules. The Panama Papers read like the Who's Who.



The poor don't have to avoid taxes, the middle class can't.

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To: scion who wrote (121884)12/5/2018 4:34:37 AM
From: scion
   of 122029
 
‘This may be just the beginning.’ U.S. unveils first criminal charges over Panama Papers

BY KEVIN G. HALL AND NICHOLAS NEHAMAS
khall@mcclatchydc.com nnehamas@miamiherald.com

December 04, 2018 07:27 PM Updated 7 hours 34 minutes ago
mcclatchydc.com

WASHINGTON

Nearly three years after the publication of a massive leak of secret offshore shell-company documents known as the Panama Papers, U.S. prosecutors announced criminal charges Tuesday against four people, including a former top lawyer for Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian firm that helped dictators, drug lords and the ultra-wealthy hide their cash.

Prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York late Tuesday accused Ramses Owens, a longtime lawyer for Mossack Fonseca, of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit tax evasion and money laundering.

Owens’ name appears in 96,696 files in the massive database of leaked files maintained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which pulled together reporters across the globe for the undertaking. He left the firm after the April 2016 publication of the Panama Papers by a journalistic partnership that included the Miami Herald and the Washington bureau of its parent, McClatchy.

Also charged in the alleged conspiracy are German citizen Dirk Brauer, an investment adviser for Mossfon Asset Management, which worked closely with the parent law firm to invest and manage client money; Richard Gaffey, an American accountant based outside Boston; and Harald Joachim von der Goltz, a German citizen who formerly lived in the United States and paid taxes there.

Owens, Brauer and Gaffey are alleged to have helped Mossack Fonseca clients, including von der Goltz, to evade U.S. taxes starting in 2000.

In a news release, the U.S. Department of Justice said the four men “defrauded the U.S. government through a large scale, intercontinental money-laundering and wire-fraud scheme.” The indictment revealed that federal investigators used undercover agents and that one cooperating Mossack Fonseca client wore a wire.

“These defendants went to extraordinary lengths to circumvent U.S. tax laws in order to maintain their wealth and the wealth of their clients,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “For decades, the defendants, employees and a client of global law firm Mossack Fonseca, allegedly shuffled millions of dollars through offshore accounts and created shell companies to hide fortunes.”

Brauer, Gaffey and von der Goltz have all been arrested, authorities said. Owens remains at large. It was not immediately clear if the men had retained attorneys.

The action, more than 30 months after the initial publication of the Panama Papers, was viewed as overdue by anti-corruption advocates. Countries across the globe pushed out politicians, jailed tax evaders and changed their laws. The United States had been a laggard.

“This may be just the beginning,” said Shruti Shah, president and CEO of the Coalition for Integrity, a nonprofit that advocates for financial transparency. “Intermediaries who help people engage in illicit activities like setting up shell companies to hide their assets should really think hard about what they are doing. The U.S. is going after the enablers, not just the people who evade taxes.”


Authorities worldwide are continuing to mine the leak for evidence, Shah said.

Last week, for instance, German police raided Deutsche Bank offices in the financial capital of Frankfurt in connection with the Panama Papers.

“People should remember that these major financial investigations take a long time,” she said. “If you have engaged in wrongdoing, you should not feel complacent that nothing is going to happen.”

...
MUCH MORE
mcclatchydc.com

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From: Lazarus12/8/2018 9:36:00 PM
   of 122029
 
I miss Tony.

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From: StockDung12/26/2018 3:57:08 PM
   of 122029
 
OSTK has previously paid a $18,910.00 data fee to BUYINS.NET. Market commentary provided by Thomas Ronk."

"BUYINS.NET affiliates, officers, directors and employees may also have bought or may buy the shares discussed in this opinion and may profit in the event those shares rise in value. OSTK has previously paid a $18,910.00 data fee to BUYINS.NET. Market commentary provided by Thomas Ronk."

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

SEC Charges Company Insider with Multiple FraudsLitigation Release No. 24297 / September 28, 2018Securities and Exchange Commission v. Thomas Carter Ronk, No. 1:18-cv-8908 (S.D.N.Y filed September 28, 2018)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Thomas Carter Ronk with fraud in connection with multiple alleged schemes to peddle securities to investors and manipulate the market.

The SEC charged Ronk with disseminating false and misleading information in connection with unregistered offerings of securities in two microcap companies: Casablanca Mining Ltd. and Gepco Ltd. According to the SEC's complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Ronk touted the issuers' illusory business prospects and made revenue projections without any basis in fact. As Ronk solicited investors to privately invest in Casablanca and Gepco, he also secretly schemed to create the appearance of market interest and a rising share price in their stocks. Further, Ronk allegedly recruited the owner of a boiler room to induce buyers to purchase shares at higher prices. According to the complaint, this manipulative trading temporarily drove up Casablanca and Gepco's stock prices and enhanced the credibility of the issuers while Ronk's capital raising efforts were ongoing.

The complaint further alleges that Ronk engaged in a fraudulent offering of securities in a private company, Wealthmakers, Ltd. Among other things, Ronk, an owner and co-founder of Wealthmakers, misled investors about trading returns that Wealthmakers purportedly generated, along with the amount of seed capital invested by Ronk and other officers of the company.

The Commission charged Ronk with violating the antifraud provisions of 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, as well as the anti-touting provisions of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act. The Commission is seeking a permanent injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains along with prejudgment interest, civil money penalties, a penny stock bar, and an officer-and-director bar against Ronk.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Brenda Wai Ming Chang, Howard Fischer, and Sheldon Pollock, with assistance by Timothy C. Nealon, under the supervision of Lara Shalov Mehraban. The litigation will be led by Mr. Fischer and Barry O'Connell.

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From: Glenn Petersen12/26/2018 4:28:38 PM
   of 122029
 
As usual, the regulators were slow to act:

WSJ: Regulators have brought more than 90 cases over the past two years against crypto companies

The Block
December 26, 2018

The "crypto craze" of 2017 and crash of 2018 drew in both investors and regulators, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The publication's analysis found that the SEC and state regulators brought more than 90 crypto cases over the past two years. These regulators were able to recover $36M in investor funds that were lost to crypto-related fraud cases. According to The Wall Street Journal, "state regulators brought more than 70 crypto-enforcement actions since filing their first case about a year ago," however they were unable to recover any investor funds lost to scams.

Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal found that as the crypto market fell in 2018, the SEC increased the number of cases they filed. In November 2018, the commission filed five cases versus four in all of 2017. High-profile cases include BitConnect, a company accused of running a Ponzi scheme and AriseBank, a company accused of defrauding investors.

theblockcrypto.com


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