Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

April 5, 2018
In a Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the SEC alleged that  between August 4 and August 15, 2016,  Gregory M. Bercowy sold shares of certain Fortune 500 companies, including Abbott and Apple, in his relative's brokerage account in order to buy over three million shares of Aureus at a total cost of more than $2.8 million. The Complaint alleges that while Bercowy was accumulating Aureus shares, he manipulated the market by entering and then cancelling a large number of buy orders at prices higher than the then-current price of Aureus stock. READ the FULL TEXT Complaint.

File this under how could I not post this one with this heading: Cape Cod Man who Disguised Money as Gift-Wrapped Books Ordered to Forfeit Funds by Federal Judge / Defendant attempted to carry $100,000 disguised as books through airport security (DOJ Press Release)
Daniel R. Ormond booked a one-way flight from Boston to California and attempted to pass through a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint with a bag that contained two gift-wrapped packages, which appeared to be books. Upon inspection, the books turned out to be $100,000 in cash divided into two separate bundles of currency sandwiched between cardboard and then wrapped in carbon-paper. Ormond initially denied any knowledge of the currency and claimed that his mother had packed the two gifts, which he said were intended for a relative graduating high school. Unfortunately, mom denied both giving her son the gifts/cash or knowledge of the purported graduation. On top of everything, while talking to law enforcement, Ormond received a call from a friend, who asked whether he  was able to get through security without any issues. After federal prosecutors filed a complaint for forfeiture of the $100,000 as the alleged proceeds of drug trafficking or money intended for same, the Court ordered the forfeiture.

Securities And Exchange Commission Imposters Target Public ( Blog)
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently posted "SEC Warns of Government Impersonators" (SEC Press Release 2018-55) warning investors about an ongoing scam in which fraudsters claiming to be SEC employees attempt to trick investors into sending money or revealing sensitive account information.  As reported by some targets of this fraud, the scheme may start with what seems like a bona fide solicitation to buy stock from a stockbroker or other purported industry professional . Thereafter, you may be contacted by a conspirator pretending to be from the SEC and claiming to need to verify or confirm that transaction. Listen to a taped conversation.

Carrolton Man Pleads Guilty For His Role in a "Foreclosure Rescue Scheme" That Exploited Vulnerable Homeowners Facing Foreclosure (DOJ Press Release)
A federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas indicted Mark Demetri Stein,  Bruce Kevin Hawkins, Richard Bruce Stevens, and Christina Renee Caveny, for their roles in a fraudulent foreclosure rescue scam in which they represented to homeowners that they had "investors" standing by who were ready to quickly purchase the homeowner's present loan from the lender holding the current mortgage.  They also falsely represented that they would use investors to purchase the homeowner's loan from the original lender at a greatly reduced price through a "short sale" process. As part of the scheme, the conspirators fraudulently required homeowners make all future loan payments to them and to ignore late payment notices sent by lenders. The defendants victimized at least 70 distressed and vulnerable homeowners who were facing the imminent threat of foreclosure on their homes and fraudulently collected a total of at least $242,000 from them.  The conspirators concealed that all down payment and monthly mortgage payments fraudulently collected from homeowners  and spent the proceed for their own personal benefit. Following their indictment, Hawkins, Stevens, and Caveny pled guilty and Hawkins and Caveny have been sentenced to 41 months and 15 months in federal prison, respectively. Stevens and Stein are awaiting sentencing.