Category Archives: Pump & Dump

Two S. Floridians Indicted on Valentine Beauty Pump and Dump Stock Scheme-Miami, FL

May 2018-Miami, Florida

The US Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Florida announced that two Florida stock promoters have been charged with a $1 million pump and dump securities fraud scheme involving shares of Valentine Beauty Inc. (“VLBI“).

The individuals charged are:

  • Eddy Ubaldo Marin, 56, a convicted felon, of Ft. Lauderdale- charged with one count of securities fraud faces maximum statutory sentence of 20 years and a fine up to $5 million.
  • Shane R. Spierdowis, 27, Boca Raton-charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud faces maximum statutory sentence of up to 5 years and a fine up to $250,000.

According to the press release, Valentine Beauty was a beauty supply company in Sunrise, Florida which traded as VLBI on the OTC market. Marin and accomplices secretly obtained control of VLBI stock, using stock of one of his companies, Green Tree Capital.

In 2014 Marin, Speirdowis and others used press releases and penny stock newsletters to artificially increase the trading volume and price of VLBI which allowed them to dump their shares at a profit.

The Pump and Dump Scheme

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the US Securities & Exchange Commission Office of Investor Education and Advocacy  (SEC) jointly issued a warning to investors regarding the use of dormant shell companies to commit fraud on unwary investors.

Dormant shell companies are often used in a pump and dump scheme where the scammer buys the low priced, rarely traded stock and then sets out to create a phony marketing scheme fueled by  press releases that falsely pump up the value of the stock.

Once the price has been pumped up by the false information, the scammer dumps his stock at the higher price and thereafter the stock value falls back to its original low price.

Investors considering placing funds into a penny stock investment would be wise to read the FINRA/SEC alert in its entirety.

If you purchased Valentine Beauty on the recommendation of your registered broker, contact us for a no charge consultation to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Additional Individuals Indicted In Chimera Energy Corp. Fraud-Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas – July 2017

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, a second superseding indictment has been issued by a  federal grand jury naming additional individuals and companies related to the Chimera Energy Corp. pump and dump fraud. Losses due to the fraud may exceed $25 million.

The following individuals were  named in September 15, 2016 indictment for a securities fraud scheme involving the stock of Chimera Energy Corp:

  • Andrew Ian Farmer, 38 , Houston, TX
  • Thomas Galen Massey, 46, Houston, TX

In a superseding indictment April 26,2017, a federal grand jury charged five additional individuals for their roles in the Chimera Energy fraud:

  • Eddie Douglas Austin, Jr. , 66, Houston, TX
  • Carolyn Price Austin, 62, Houston, TX
  • Charles Earl Grob, Jr. 37, Houston, TX
  • John David Brotherton, 57, League City, TX
  • Scott Russell Sieck, 58, Winter Park, FL

On July 20, 2017, a grand jury returned a second superseding indictment against Farmer, Eddie and Carolyn Austin, Brotherton, Sieck and Grob for roles in a broader securities fraud conspiracy involving at least 12 other companies from 2011 to 2017.

The release indicates that Massey pleaded guilty to his role on April 18,2017, and is set for sentencing in June 2018.

Pump and Dump Scheme

In a pump and dump scheme, the fraudsters engage in fraudulent trading practices in a company’s stock by publishing false and misleading information about the company with the intention of inflating the price of the stock. Once the stock rises as a result of this fake information, the fraudsters dump their stock on the market to the investors who have been misled by the false information.

Victims who may have been advised by a registered stockbroker to invest in any of these companies may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Call to learn about your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Cannabis Penny Stock Promoter James Farinella Named In SEC Fraud Suit

JUNE 2017

The U S Securities and Exchange Commission charged James M. Farinella ,  Integrated Capital Partners (ICP) , Anthony Amado, Equities Awareness Group LLC (EAG) and Carlos Palomino with securities fraud involving the manipulation and artificial inflation of the share price of microcap company Pazoo, Inc., a cannabis penny stock (PZOO).

The SEC alleges that Farinella and ICP controlled the entire public float of stock in Pazoo and that by engaging in matched trading they created the appearance of an active market for Pazoo which boosted its market price. According to the SEC Farinella dumped his Pazoo shares after the price rose, netting him a million dollar gain.

In a parallel action the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced criminal charges against Farinella.

Link to SEC Complaint. 

If you have losses on penny stocks recommended to you by your broker, contact us to discuss your legal options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

BJ Gallison Sentenced on Pump & Dump Securities Fraud

March 18, 2016-San Diego

The San Diego Reader reports that B. J. Gallison was sentenced to 18 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with an international pump and dump stock scam.

Gallison admitted artificially inflating (pumping) the shares of Warrior Girl Corp. and Everock, Inc. and then dumping the shares on the public market. To accomplish the scam Gallison created nominee accounts in the names of shell companies in order to conceal the true ownership of the securities.

Gallison was a majority owner of La Jolla Capital, later renamed Pacific Cortez Securities, a company that specialized in penny stocks.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Matthew Bell-Former WFG Investments Broker- Discloses 46 Customer Complaints-Pleads Guilty on Fraud Charges-San Antonio, TX

UPDATE MAY 2017

March 8, 2015- San Antonio, Texas

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reports that Matthew A. Bell , 47 of Boerne, TX, a broker who formerly worked for WFG Investments and Securities America, has been named in 46 customer disputes alleging damages in excess of $2.5M. There are two disputes that have not yet been resolved, all of which allege unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentation and seek damages ranging from $5,000 to $75,000.

Bell was permitted to resign from WFG Investments in 6/2013 and is not currently registered with any broker dealer. Bell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a civil action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC had charged Bell and a group of other conspirators with pumping up the price of penny stocks and dumping them on unsuspecting investors. The companies involved in the pump and dump were CodeSmart Holdings Inc., Cubed Inc., StarStream Entertainment Inc. and The Staffing Group Ltd. 

Bell found many of his victims through the Oak Hills Church.

If you had an account handled by Bell that suffered losses, contact us to learn how you may be entitled to damages from his former employer.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870