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From: StockDung6/10/2010 8:24:35 AM
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Please Note: This site has been established to bring members together and create a National voice for companies that fall victim to predatory trading and Naked Short Selling. Please register now to receive information by email on Naked Short Selling, news about the association and ways you can combat this illegal activity (NOW A PORN SITE)


Vancouver stock promoter faces $8-million suit in U.S. for illegal trading

By Staff reporter, The Province June 9, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO — Vancouver stock promoter Brent Pierce is being sued for $8 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after alleged illegal trading through two offshore properties.

The SEC is seeking to recover the money that it claims Pierce collected through accounts in Newport Capital Corp. and Jenirob Company Ltd. The SEC claims Pierce secretly controlled and concealed the operations from regulators.

"The promoters behind lucrative stock schemes frequently operate behind a wall of secretive offshore entities," says Marc Fagel, regional director of the San Francisco SEC office.

In a press release, the SEC reports that Pierce was found in a previous action to have violated the federal securities laws in connection to the trading of stock from Lexington Resources Inc., a now defunct oil and gas company. At the time, Pierce was ordered to pay back from his personal account about $2 milllion in illegal trading profits.

The SEC alleges that in 2004, Pierce controlled Lexington and sold 1.6 million shares in the stock to the public through the Newport and Jenirob accounts for almost $8 million — while Pierce and his associates "conducted massive spam and newsletter campaigns outting Lexington stock."

A hearing will be scheduled to determine future actions.

© Copyright (c) The Province

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From: StockDung6/25/2010 11:13:41 AM
   of 978
West Vancouver stock promoter works quietly, profitably and behind the scenes

By David Baines, Vancouver Sun June 25, 2010

First in a series

In the spring of 2006, a cabal of Vancouver promoters who are closely associated with notorious West Vancouver promoter Brent Pierce took over a shell company called Revelstoke Industries Inc.

Revelstoke was based in Vancouver, but it had registered its shares in the United States as a prelude to going public on the OTC Bulletin Board. Its purported business was construction site reclamation and preparation, but this was clearly a ruse. Its real utility was as a tightly held, publicly traded shell that could be used for some future promotion.

In April 2006, Marcus Johnson joined as president and CEO. He is an architect who lives and works in Bellingham, Wash., a popular bedroom community for the Howe Street pump-and-dump crowd.

Johnson is a longtime associate of Pierce, who ran into trouble with local securities regulators in 1993 and was banned from the B.C. market for 15 years. To circumvent his ban, Pierce works behind the scenes or out of the jurisdiction, often through his investor relations firm, International Market Trend AG, which is registered in Zurich but operates out of Blaine, Wash., another popular satellite office for Howe Street penny stock pushers.

In May 2006, Johnson was joined by three of Pierce's other cronies:

- Stephen Jewett, who became a director and head of the company's audit committee. He works as a chartered accountant on West Broadway, although he is somewhat restricted in his practice. In 1993, after he audited statements for a junior public company that turned out to be false, his professional association barred him from auditing the books of any public company. He became a director and -- ironically, considering his professional troubles -- head of the company's audit committee.

- D. Bruce Horton, who became a director and chief financial officer. He is a former certified general accountant and a co-founder of Clearly Canadian Beverage Corp. He and another longtime Vancouver promoter, Bryan Dear, run a private company on Alder Street, just a few blocks from Jewett's office, called Calneva Financial Group Ltd., which specializes in taking Chinese companies public on the bulletin board.

- Vaughn Barbon, who joined as controller. Although Barbon was a former bank administration manager, his hiring wouldn't necessarily instil confidence among shareholders. In 1991, he was convicted of embezzling $2.2 million from his then-employer, Montreal Trust, and sentenced to two years in prison. He is listed as a director and officer of Pierco Petroleum Corp., which operates from an office on the 12th floor of 666 Burrard Street.

They renamed the company Geneva Gold Corp. and announced a series of options on mineral properties in Saskatchewan, Panama, Peru and Nigeria. The stock soared to $3.50, but in a familiar pattern, the property deals were aborted, the stock plunged, and trading volume dried up.

Johnson, Horton, Jewett and Barbon -- along with another longtime Pierce cohort named Grant Atkins -- have played substantive roles in many other Pierce-inspired bulletin board pump-and-dump promotions, including Morgan Creek Energy Corp., Uranium Energy Corp., Lexington Resources Inc., and GeneMax Corp.

Denver lawyer Diane Dalmy has also helped all these companies with their SEC filings. Last fall, Dalmy earned the dubious distinction of being banned from the Pink Sheets, the most unregulated market in North America, after submitting legal opinions that were deemed to be substandard.

Pierce's name rarely shows up in any of the companies' filings, but there is no question that he is working in the wings. An example is Lexington Resources, which featured Horton, Jewett, Barbon, Atkins and Dalmy.

Lexington's investor relations affairs was openly handled by Pierce's firm, International Market Trend, but it soon became clear he played a much larger and more insidious role. In 2008, the SEC filed a complaint alleging that Atkins, who was serving as the company's president, had issued more than five million Lexington shares to Pierce and several associates, who then commenced a massive spam and newsletter campaign.

The stock jackknifed to $7.50 US, allowing Pierce and his buddies to dump millions of dollars worth of stock, which had not been registered for resale.

Much of the stock was sold through Hypo Bank, a Liechtenstein bank that was banned from the B.C. market in 2008 for refusing to reveal the beneficial owners of accounts that it ran at a half dozen local brokerage firms.

Lexington's share price later slumped to two cents and the company went bankrupt.

In June 2009, a Seattle judge found that, although Pierce was neither an officer nor director of Lexington, he was the controlling force: "The totality of the circumstances -- Pierce's sway over Lexington's CEO, Atkins, his substantial ownership of Lexington stock, his control over the consultants assigned to work for Lexington [identified as Johnson, Barbon and others] -- all point to Pierce's control of Lexington," the judge said.

The judge ordered Pierce to disgorge just over $2 million of his ill-gotten gains. A few weeks ago, the SEC filed another enforcement action seeking to recover an additional $8 million in profits from the sale of 1.6 million shares in the accounts of two offshore companies that he controlled, Newport Capital Corp. and Jenirob Company Ltd. During that proceeding, Pierce's lawyer revealed that his client is under criminal investigation for another bulletin board pump-and-dump called CellCyte Genetics Corp.

There is no question that Pierce, who is now 53, has made a ton of money from these go-nowhere deals. In November 2006, his wife, Dana, bought a Vancouver condo for $6.2 million. And in August 2007, the couple acquired a waterfront home in West Vancouver for $10.4 million. A few weeks ago, they signed an interim agreement to buy Saturna Island Winery for a reported $12.9 million, but backed out after conducting their due diligence.

I have been trying to catch up to him for years.

On Thursday, I called Pierco Petroleum, where Barbon and Robert Harris, who figured in the CellCyte scandal, are listed as the sole directors. I figured that with a name like Pierco, the great man himself couldn't be too far away.

Sure enough, Pierce answered the phone, but he wasn't in a chatty mood. "Nobody is going to talk to you, David. Have a nice day," he said, hanging up.


NEXT: We track the rise and fall of Geneva Gold which, like Lexington, turns out to be all smoke and mirrors.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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From: StockDung5/20/2014 1:29:52 PM
   of 978
Anti naked short selling advocate losses apeal


SEC target Pierce loses Lexington appeal

2014-05-20 13:15 ET - Street Wire

Also Street Wire (C-*SEC) U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Also Street Wire (U-LXRS) Lexington Resources Inc

by Mike Caswell

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has denied an appeal by West Vancouver's Gordon Brent Pierce of his second penalty for selling unregistered shares of Lexington Resources Inc. The regulator has ordered him to pay $7.24-million in disgorgement and $4.21-million in interest. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) In rejecting the appeal, the SEC has found that the second Lexington case against Mr. Pierce was only necessary because he fraudulently concealed his control over shares he held through two offshore companies.

Brent Pierce

The appeal stems from the 2004 promotion of Lexington Resources, a purported Oklahoma oil and gas company. The SEC filed two administrative actions against Mr. Pierce for Lexington, and won $2.04-million in sanctions in the first and $7.24-million in the second. An administrative law judge found that Mr. Pierce had arranged for a spam campaign to tout the stock, and then sold shares through accounts at Hypo Bank in Liechtenstein.

The remainder is available to Stockwatch subscribers. Click the yellow link above for a free trial subscription. © 2014 Canjex Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

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From: StockDung7/8/2015 4:32:43 PM
   of 978
SEC target Pierce challenges Lexington findings again

2015-07-08 12:16 ET - Street Wire

Also Street Wire (U-*SEC) U S Securities and Exchange Commission
Also Street Wire (U-LXRS) Lexington Resources Inc

by Mike Caswell

Vancouver's Brent Pierce has filed yet another legal challenge to the substantial penalty he received from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the Lexington Resources Inc. scheme. He has requested the U.S. Court of Appeals conduct an en banc review of a ruling that upheld $11.45-million in sanctions on him. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He complains that the SEC unfairly penalized him twice for the same promotion.

The review request is part of a lengthy legal action stemming from the 2004 promotion of Lexington Resources, a purported Oklahoma oil and gas company. The SEC claimed that Mr. Pierce personally sold $2.04-million worth of stock while paying for a spam campaign that boosted the company. The regulator also said that he sold $7.24-million worth of stock through two private entities using offshore accounts in Liechtenstein.
Brent Pierce

Mr. Pierce's appeal, filed on Monday, July 6, centres around the fact that the SEC obtained the fines through two separate proceedings. The regulator first pursued him solely for the amounts he sold personally. The SEC then filed a new case in which it fined him for the selling through the corporate entities. As Mr. Pierce sees it, the fact that the SEC pursued him a second time violates a legal principal called res judicata (which means that a matter may only be litigated once).

His argument is not a new one. He previously made the same complaint in an internal appeals process at the SEC. That process culminated in a hearing presided over by a panel of five SEC officials, including chairman Mary Jo White. On March 8, 2014, the panel ruled against Mr. Pierce, finding that the second case was only necessary because he had provided information that turned out to be untrue. He had fraudulently concealed his role with the two entities that sold $7.24-million worth of shares, the panel ruled. The SEC also recalculated the amount he owed, pegging it at $11.45-million with interest.

Mr. Pierce then went to the courts, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to hear the matter. In a ruling handed down on May 22, 2015, a three-judge panel found against him as well, agreeing that he had fraudulently concealed his holdings. In sworn testimony he had denied having control over an account, but that turned out to be untrue, the three judges found.

The difference between Mr. Pierce's prior appeal and his present one is that he is seeking a review en banc, or before a larger panel of judges than the three that previously heard his case. His appeal request does not automatically result in such a hearing. The court ordinarily only considers such hearings when the matter is of exceptional importance.

Although much of what Mr. Pierce is arguing in Monday's review request looks to repeat his prior appeals, he has added a complaint about the administrative law judge who initially imposed the fine. He contends that the judge was not properly appointed. As with most cases at the appeal court, the argument hinges on points of law and is nearly incomprehensible to an ordinary reader. Essentially, Mr. Pierce says that the judge's appointment did not follow the requirement of being done by the president, a court of law or a department head.

Pierce's Lexington fines

Whatever the outcome of Mr. Pierce's review request, it comes nearly seven years after the SEC initially cited him for the Lexington promotion. In an administrative order dated July 31, 2008, the regulator claimed that he pumped the stock to $7.50 from $3 with spam, tout sheets and advertising on investing websites. The regulator held a three-day hearing for Mr. Pierce in February, 2009, in Seattle. Mr. Pierce did not attend, citing concerns he could be arrested in the United States for his role with another company, CellCyte Genetics Corp. The judge found his failure to appear was unexpected and she drew an "adverse inference" from it. She eventually imposed the $2.04-million fine.

The SEC's second case, which it filed on June 8, 2010, cited Mr. Pierce for selling Lexington shares through accounts in the names of two private entities, Newport Capital Corp. and Jenirob Ltd. The SEC said that the two companies held 1.6 million shares of Lexington at Hypo Bank in Liechtenstein. The regulator had previously been unable to determine beneficial ownership of those shares because of privacy laws in Liechtenstein, but eventually discovered that Mr. Pierce owned them. Mr. Pierce lost the second case as well, with a judge finding against him on July 27, 2011. The judge assessed his proceeds from the sales as $7.24-million and ordered him to pay that amount, plus interest.

For Mr. Pierce, the SEC is not the only regulator looking at his Lexington actions. On May 19, 2015, the B.C. Securities Commission applied to permanently ban him from the markets, citing his contempt for the securities and regulatory system. Among other things, the BCSC cited the Lexington case, noting in particular that Mr. Pierce lied to SEC staff and had not shown any recognition that his conduct was wrong. The BCSC has not yet scheduled a hearing for Mr. Pierce.

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From: StockDung1/25/2022 2:26:35 PM
   of 978
SEC Wins Summary Judgment Against Unregistered Penny Stock DealerLitigation Release No. 25314 / January 21, 2022Securities and Exchange Commission v. Justin W. Keener d/b/a JMJ Financial, No. 20-cv-21254 (S.D. Fla. January 21, 2022)
On January 21, 2022, Judge Beth Bloom of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the SEC's motion for summary judgment against Justin W. Keener d/b/a JMJ Financial. The SEC's complaint alleged that Keener failed to register as a securities dealer with the SEC, or to associate with a registered dealer, when he bought and sold billions of newly issued shares of penny stock from at least January 2015 through January 2018. Keener obtained the shares directly from issuers after converting debt securities known as convertible notes. By failing to register, Keener avoided certain regulatory obligations for dealers that govern their conduct in the marketplace, including regulatory inspections and oversight, financial responsibility requirements, and maintaining books and records.

The court ruled that Keener met the statutory definition of dealer because he operated a regular business of buying and selling securities for his own account. The court found that his failure to register as a dealer, or associate with a registered dealer, violated the dealer registration provisions of Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The court also denied Keener's cross motion for summary judgment. The court ordered the parties to propose a briefing schedule for remedies.

The SEC is represented by Joshua E. Braunstein and Antony Richard Petrilla.

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