According to the SEC, “This law regulates investment advisers. With certain exceptions, this Act requires that firms or sole practitioners compensated for advising others about securities investments must register with the SEC and conform to regulations designed to protect investors.” The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 was passed to prevent another stock market crash. Passed…

Violating the Anti-touting Provision.  On July 14th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged[1] Blotics Ltd.(Blotics), a website operator based in the UK, for violating the anti-touting provision of the federal securities law. Blotics operated a once-popular digital asset securities offering platform, Coinschedule.com (“Coinschedule”), accessible to US investors from 2016 to 2019. The website charged…

The SEC Charged a Touted Real Estate Investor with Orchestrating Unregistered Offering with a Fraudulent Nature Unregistered offering by touted real estate investor.  On June 29, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Committee (the “SEC”) charged[1] Matthew J. Skinner for issuing unregistered securities in four fraudulent schemes through Empire West Equity Inc. and four other entities…

Failing to Register as a Broker-Dealer On June 29, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged[1] Neovest (“Neovest”) Inc. for failing to register with the SEC as a broker-dealer. While Neovest circumvented the related regulations broker-dealers must conform to, it replicated confidential and sensitive information of its customer to a third party without any…

AFWL Charged for Foreign Bribery and Violating the Books and Record Provision. On Jun 25, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged[1] Amec Foster Wheeler Limited (AFWL) for bribing officials at a Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras to obtain a contract from which AFWL unjustly profited approximately $17.6 million. AFWL also violated the book…

Companies acquire, or merge with, other companies for a variety of reasons, namely: to create economies of scale/scope and cost/revenue synergies, to acquire promising technology or other intellectual property or intangibles, to capture more market share, to diversify a business portfolio, or to create tax benefits (such as acquiring net operating losses to carry forward…

Fraudulent Cherry-picking.  On Jun 17th, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged[1] Ramiro Jose Sugranes, a licensed financial adviser who had been in the financial market for over twenty years, for fraudulent cherry-picking.  What Is Cherry Picking? According to Investopedia cherry picking is the process of choosing investments and trades by following other investors…

Raising Capital Properly – A Case Study   On June 29, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Matthew J. Skinner (“Skinner”) of Santa Clarita, California, and five entities he owns and controls, for conducting four unregistered and fraudulent real estate investment offerings between 2015 and 2020.  In these offerings, Skinner raised more than…

Investor Disclosure Laws – A Case Study On May 3, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Under Armour Inc. with “misleading investors as to the bases of its revenue growth and failing to disclose known uncertainties concerning its future revenue prospects.”  In 2015 and 2016, Under Armour engaged in what is known as…

Didi Inc., a Chinese version of Uber, was listed on NYSE (DIDI) on June 30, the day before the Chinese Communist Party’s Founding Day celebration and four days before the United States’ Independence Day. Didi planned to raise approximately $4.4 to $4.9 billion from its IPO, offering 318,000,000 ADSs[1] priced at $14 per share. The…

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