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.
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