Wedbush Securities and Two Officials Agree to Settle SEC Case
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Los Angeles-based broker-dealer Wedbush Securities agreed to settle a pending SEC case for market access violations by admitting wrongdoing, paying a $2.44 million penalty, and retaining an independent consultant.
The SEC’s order finds that Wedbush violated the market access rule by failing to have adequate risk controls in place before providing customers with access to the market, including some customer firms with thousands of essentially anonymous overseas traders. The order also finds that Wedbush committed other violations in connection with its market access business.
“Wedbush acknowledges that it granted access to thousands of overseas traders without having appropriate safeguards in place,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division. “Broker-dealers who enjoy the benefits of being registered must honor the responsibilities that come with that status, and we will continue to hold responsible those who provide market access without implementing proper...
SEC Suspends Trading in Companies Touting Operations Related to Prevention or Treatment of Ebola
The Securities and Exchange Commission today suspended trading in four companies that claim to be developing products or services in response to the Ebola outbreak, citing a lack of publicly available information about the companies’ operations.
The SEC simultaneously issued an investor alert warning about the potential for fraud in microcap companies purportedly involved in Ebola prevention, testing, or treatment, noting that scam artists often exploit the latest crisis in the news cycle to lure investors into supposedly promising investment opportunities.
The SEC Enforcement Division and its Microcap Fraud Task Force work to proactively identify microcap companies that are publicly disseminating information that appears inadequate or potentially inaccurate. The SEC has authority to issue trading suspensions against such companies. The companies whose trading was suspended today are Patchogue, N.Y.-based Bravo Enterprises Ltd., Monrovia, Calif.-based Immunotech Laboratories Inc., Toronto-based Myriad Interactive Media Inc., and Anaheim, Calif.-based Wholehealth Products Inc.
“We move quickly...
SEC Announces Next Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that its Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 17, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET. The committee will focus on the interests and priorities of emerging and smaller public companies.
“Small and emerging companies contribute greatly to the strength of our nation’s economy,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “We welcome the valuable input of the Advisory Committee members who bring a wealth of expertise from across the small business community.”
The co-chairs of the committee are Stephen M. Graham, Managing Partner in Fenwick & West LLP’s Seattle office, and M. Christine Jacobs, member of the board of directors of McKesson Corporation and former Chairman, CEO, and President of Theragenics Corporation.
The committee members are:
Charles Baltic, Managing Director and Co-Head of Health Care, Needham & Company, LLC, New York
David A. Bochnowski, Chairman, President, and CEO, Northwest Indiana Bancorp,...
SEC Adopts Rules to Improve Systems Compliance and Integrity
The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to adopt new rules designed to strengthen the technology infrastructure of the U.S. securities markets. The rules – together comprising Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Regulation SCI) – impose requirements on certain key market participants intended to reduce the occurrence of systems issues and improve resiliency when systems problems do occur.
“The rules adopted today mark an historic shift in the Commission’s regulation of the U.S. securities markets that will better protect investors by requiring comprehensive new controls for the technological systems that form the core of our current markets,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “The rules provide greater accountability for those responsible for our critical market systems, helping ensure that such systems operate effectively and that any issues are promptly corrected and communicated to market participants and the Commission.”
Given the heavy reliance on technology and automated systems in the securities markets today,...
SEC Charges Unregistered Broker in Tampa Area With Stealing From Investors in Fraudulent Day Trading Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an unregistered broker living outside Tampa, Fla., with stealing investor funds as part of a fraudulent day trading scheme.
The SEC alleges that Albert J. Scipione and his business partner solicited investors to establish accounts at their company called Traders Café for the purposes of day trading, which entails the rapid buying and selling of stocks throughout the day in hope that the stock values continue climbing or falling for the seconds to minutes they own them so they can lock in quick profits. Scipione touted Traders Café’s software trading platform and made a series of false misrepresentations to investors about low commissions and fees, high trading leverage, and safety of their assets. More than $500,000 was raised from investors who were assured that funds invested with Traders Café would be segregated and used only for day trading or other specific business purposes. However,...