In early 2018, the Firm notified Patel that certain customer accounts that Patel managed would be replaced by another type of managed account. The Firm further advised Patel that customers were required to sign the new account opening forms for these accounts. From January to April 2018, Patel forged electronic signatures of customers on 26 new managed account documents by forging the customer's name electronically on the forms and electronically signing applications in place of the customer. One customer did not consent to the change. In addition, Patel forged handwritten signatures of customers on four other account-related documents, including a change of address form and a 529 college savings plan transfer form, and two beneficiary change forms by cutting and pasting photocopied customer signatures. The Firm requi-ed Patel to obtain original customer signatures in order to confirm that the customer provided written permission and authority for the change. Patel submitted the forged documents to the Firm for processing as if he had obtained the actual signatures from the customers. Thirty customers of his FINRA regulated broker-dealer employer were impacted.
Keaton was the sole information technology employee for a company located in Avon Lake. Keaton gained access to emails of the company's finance director and other employees. He learned the company planned to hire an outside vendor to take over IT operations from Keaton.Keaton was scheduled to meet with the vendor on February 25, 2019, in which the vendor was to ask Keaton to transfer access to the company's IT systems.On the same day, Keaton accessed the finance director's email, in which he learned the company planned to offer Keaton a severance package and terminate his employment.Keaton then took steps to lock the company's employees out of their email, take its web site offline, block the company's employees from accessing the company's customer relationship management system, and other unauthorized actions.
On October 2, 2018, the SEC filed an emergency action and obtained an asset freeze against Roger Knox and Wintercap SA, charging them with a scheme that generated more than $165 million of illegal sales of stock in at least 50 microcap companies. On November 28, 2018, the SEC charged Morrie Tobin, Milan Patel, Matthew Ledvina, and Daniel Lacher, with scheming to hide Tobin's ownership and control over Environmental Packaging and CURE Pharmaceutical Holding Corp. by using offshore entitites to hold his stock and by establishing accounts to sell that stock at Wintercap.Acording [sic] to the SEC's amended complaint, Quinn helped facilitate a reverse merger between a public shell company secretly controlled by Tobin and a private-bulk packaging company for which Skriloff served as CEO. Skriloff, who continued as the CEO of the combined entity, Environmental Packaging, allegedly raised money from investors, which the defendants used to pay a stock promoter to tout the stock of Environmental Packaging, while creating the impression that the promoter's recommendation came from a neutral third party. Skriloff also allegedly attempted to disguise the payment to the stock promoter as part of a purported consulting agreement. The amended complaint further alleges that, during the promotional campaign, the price of Environmental Packaging shares more than doubled and Tobin profited from the higher share price. According to the amended complaint, Skriloff, as the CEO of Environmental Packaging, also made misstatements in public reports filed with the SEC about the reverse merger and the company's connection to the promotional campaign.The amended complaint also alleges that 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.