The SEC filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New charging Francisco Abellan Villena, Guillermo Ciupiak, James B. Panter Jr., and attorney Faiyaz Dean with violating antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The Complaint alleges that the defendants manipulated the market for and illegally sold the stock of microcap issuer Biozoom Inc. through hidden ownership, offshore accounts, nominees, and through resort to manipulative trading techniques to artificially inflate Biozoom's share price in a manner that reaped nearly $34 million in unlawful proceeds. Separately, the SEC charged two registered representatives for their roles in the unregistered sales of Biozoom stock and a brokerage firm for supervisory and recordkeeping failures. Previously, the SEC obtained a judgment against Abellan for his role in another market manipulation scheme.
Colorado Court Shuts Down FINRA Over Expungement Confirmation
You ever go to a meeting where it seemed that everyone showed up on time, they started the presentations at the designated hour, and then, just as things began to roll, some idiot executive walks in late? Can someone please get me a cup of coffee, two sugars, a little milk, and, if there's a warm cheese danish left, I'll take that, otherwise, I'll take anything with cinnamon. Oh, where's the nearest outlet, I need to plug in my phone. Thanks -- please, don't allow me to interrupt anything. Did we already cover Item One in the agenda? You did? Sorry but could you just catch me up, briefly. Did we place orders for lunch yet? Yeah, there's always that idiot. Speaking of idiots arriving late and messing things up for everyone, consider a recent FINRA expungement arbitration in which the industry Claimant wins but FINRA decides to intervene by way of a partial objection in court to the confirmation of the award.
When we talk about a long and checkered career, it is hard to imagine a better example than that of Edward Durante a/k/a "Ted Wise," a/k/a "Efran Eisenberg," a/k/a "Yulia," a/k/a "Ed Simmons." In 2001, Durante was sentenced to 121 months in prison, ordered to pay over $39 million in disgorgement and interest, and was barred from certain activities in the securities industry following his convictions for conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, as well as making false statements in connection with a market manipulation scheme in which the defendant also used the alias "Ed Simmons." After his release from prison, between 2009 and March 2015, Durante and his co-conspirator fraudulently induced at least 100 victims to invest over $15 million in private shares of VGTL, whose share price the conspirators manipulated. In August 2016, Durante, now 64 years old, pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, and perjury and was sentenced to 215 months in prison plus three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $15,404,231.
I'm guessing the folks at the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York are up to the letter "R" in their "Improve Your Word Power in 30 Days" book because this is the second press release today to have a headline beginning with "Recidivist." On September 28, 2016, Gary Hirst was convicted following a jury trial for manipulating the market for shares of NYSE-listed Gerova Financial Group, Ltd. and he was sentenced to 78 months in prison. Be that as it may Gary Hirst has now pled guilty to guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, and conspiracy to commit investment adviser fraud in connection with his scheme to defraud a Native American tribal entity and various investment advisory clients of tens of millions of dollars in connection with the issuance of bonds by the tribal entity and the subsequent sale of those bonds through fraudulent and deceptive means. In pertinent part, the DOJ Press Release alleges that: