Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

June 21, 2018
The SEC filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York charging Joseph A. Fiore, and two companies he purportedly owns, Berkshire Capital Management Company, Inc., and Eat at Joe's, Ltd. (n/k/a SPYR, Inc.) with market manipulation and scalping. The Complaint alleges in part that Fiore illegally sold the stock of microcap issuer, Plandai Biotechnology, Inc and he was involved in a fraudulent promotional campaign that recommended purchase of Planda without without disclosing his beneficial ownership. The SEC asserts that defendants generated over $11 million from unlawful stock sales.The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains along with prejudgment interest, and financial penalties against all of the defendants; penny stock bars against Fiore and Berkshire; and an officer and director bar against Fiore, READ the FULL TEXT SEC Complaint

Securities and Exchange Commission v. PlexCorps, et al., Civil Action No. 17-cv-07007 (E.D.N.Y., filed Dec. 1, 2017) (SEC Litigation Release No. 24170 )
In a Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York the SEC had charged Dominc Lacroix (characterized as a "recidivist"), as well as his alleged partner, Sabrina Paradis-Royer, and PlexCorps, with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act). The complaint also alleges that Lacroix and PlexCorps violated Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act.  The Complaint sought permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and penalties.  The SEC sought an officer-and-director bar for Lacroiz; and a bar from offering digital securities against Lacroix and Paradis-Royer. The Court froze the assets of Lacroix in response to the SEC's allegations that since the original freeze in December, Lacroix had been using secret accounts, including an account in his brother's name but which he controlled, to improperly dissipate for personal use digital assets obtained from investors during the PlexCoin Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Zipper Plays Sisyphus To FINRA's Zeus ( Blog)
For the intrepid few among you who still give a crap about this farce masquerading as Wall Street regulation, Polonius died of his wounds, Rosencranz and Guildenstern were hung out to dry, Ophelia got all wet and did not respond to CPR, Laertes got stuck on a point and bled out, Hamlet took a stab at setting things right and died of his wounds, Gertrude had one drink too many, Claudius had another drink too many, and, well, you know, there's this guy Fortinbras who seems to be taking over but, wow, who the hell names their kid Fortinbras? As such, enter stage right Zipper and Dakota. Enter stage left Horatio (remember him?) and FINRA. The curtain rises on Act XXXIV: In the Matter of FINRA Department of Enforcement, Complainant, v. Bruce Martin Zipper and Dakota Securities International, Inc. Respondents (FINRA Office of Hearing Officers Hearing Panel Decision,  Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2016047565702 / June 18, 2018)

Two Colorado Financial Services Executives Sentenced in Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Scheme (DOJ Press Release)
Former Compass Financial Solutions Ltd. ("CFS") Chief Executive Officer Brian G. Elrod and former CFS Corporate Counsel William E. Dawn each pled guilty in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with allegations that the defendants had defrauded investors from 2005 to 2011 through promises of access to substantial financing, including hundreds of millions in cash in an overseas bank account, in exchange for up-front fees.After diverting investors' funds, in part, for Ponzi-like payments to other investors and himself, Elrod defaulted on promissory notes and then conspired with Kenneth Brewington, who purported to be a wealthy financier, and told investors that he would assume CFS's obligations on these notes. Dawn, who served as CFS in-house counsel from 2002 to 2010, drafted promissory notes sold by Elrod and Brewington despite knowing that the proceeds would not be used as promised.  After a two-week jury trial, Brewington was convicted on multiple counts of fraud and money laundering. Elrod was sentenced to 38 months in prison plus three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,440,051.29 restitution. Dawn was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $366,752.01 restitution.

Maine Man Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison for Investment Fraud Scheme and Failing to File Federal Tax Returns (DOJ Press Release)
Federal prosecutors alleged that from 2009 through September 2017,William Bischoff defrauded over two dozen clients of his financial advisory business out of  $5,647,446.33 by falsely promising to invest their money in real estate, structured legal settlements, high yield notes, and a start-up recycling business. Bischoff engaged in Ponzi-like fraud by using investors' funds to make payments to other victim investors. Additionally, Bischoff allegedly failed to file individual federal tax returns for the four-year period from 2011 to 2015, causing a $568,845 tax revenue loss. Bischoff pled guilty in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to one count of wire fraud and one count of willfully failing to file federal tax returns.