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Recent SEC Cases Involves Market Rigging

Investors in Alleged $2.3M Prime Bank Fraud Were Promised Huge Profits
In the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) prime bank investment fraud case against Elizabeth Oharriz of Florida and Peter Baker of Georgia, the regulator is accusing the two of them and their companies of stealing more than $2.2M from investors. The Commission contends that Oharriz and Baker sold fake prime bank instruments from supposedly known banks while promising investors “astronomical profits.” The regulator’s complaint said that they also were also told that if these instruments could not be obtained, then their advance payments would be returned to them.

Instead, claims the SEC, Oharriz and Baker allegedly used investors’ money for their own personal spending or sent the funds to third parties. Meantime, investors were given bogus bank instruments along with accompanying documents.

Also charged in the SEC case are Diversified Initiatives Consulting and Logistics, Prestige Global Trading, and Sienna Business Group. Now, the regulator wants a permanent injunction, disgorgement, and civil penalties. Sienna, Oharriz, and Diversified already have consented to a bifurcated settlement.

Another Subpoena Enforcement in Possible Pump-and-Dump Scam
Earlier this month, the SEC submitted another subpoena enforcement action in its case against Einstein Investments LLC, which is based in Arizona. The action instructs the investment firm to abide by an investigative subpoena into allegations of market rigging.

The regulator is looking into a possible pump-and-dump fraud involving three microcap companies’ stocks. Trading in the three companies, Cherubim Interests, Victura Construction Group, and PDX Partners was previously suspended by the SEC. The Commission believes that the companies may have submitted bogus public statements last year to inflate their stock price.

When trading volume rose, an entity—it may have even been Einstein—is suspected to have “dumped” the inflated shares and made a substantial profit.

In November, the Commission subpoenaed Einstein, asking that it turn over documents. The investment firm has not done so. Now, the SEC wants a court order to make Einstein fully abide by the subpoena. Previous subpoena enforcements were also filed in October and December of last year.

Alleged $4M Offering Scam May Have Harmed More than 70 Investors, Including Seniors
Donald A. Milne, III, a repeat securities law offender, and his Instaprin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are accused of running an offering involving over 70 investors. Many of these investors were reportedly elderly investors.

The regulator claims that Milne told investors that their funds would go toward Instaprin’s operating costs. The pharmaceutical company was supposedly developing a revolutionary type of aspirin that would “instantly stop” strokes and heart attacks.

Instead, investors’ funds were mostly used to support Milnes personal spending, including divorce bills, clothing, and spa expenses, as well as his remote-controlled toy racecar business, Island Raceway Hobby, Inc., which is no longer in operation.

Milne and Instaprin settled the SEC investor fraud case without denying or admitting to the charges. They must disgorge, including prejudgment interest, more than $3.6M. Milne must pay an over $554K civil penalty and Instaprin a nearly $2.8M penalty. As a relief defendant, Island Raceway will pay $941K in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

Milne is considered a securities fraud recidivist. He is also a convicted felon, having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud in a broker fraud case in 1998. The allegations against him back then involved taking bribes and kickbacks in return for recommending stock that had been fraudulently issued to brokerage clients.

Investor Fraud Lawyers
Our investment fraud lawyers represent investors in all kinds of securities cases. We have helped thousands of clients to recover losses sustained due to fraud, negligence, or other wrongdoing. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) works with investors nationwide. Contact SSEK Law Firm today.

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