The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a complaint against Meyers Associates L.P. which is based in New York and three of its registered members for allegedly violating a slew of conduct rules set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The FINRA complaint alleges that George Johnson, Joseph Mahalick, and Christopher Wynne of Chicago, Illinois were all part of a market manipulation scheme that involved fraudulent omissions, falsification of records, unauthorized disclosure of information, and dissemination of various research and sales materials.
FINRA alleges that Johnson willfully violated the Securities and Exchange Act by manipulating the market for the common stock IceWeb Inc. Johnson allegedly solicited certain customers to buy shares in IceWeb while simultaneously telling others to sell in an effort to artificially inflate prices. FINRA also alleges that Christopher Wynne, who was Johnson’s supervisor at Meyers Associates L.P., violated FINRA Rule 2010 by sending customers research materials that were “riddled with misleading, exaggerated and unsupported claims and failed to disclose material information.”In addition, FINRA alleges that Johnson of Meyers Associates L.P. also solicited customers to purchase shares in Snap Interactive Inc. (STVI) while “failing to disclose that he was simultaneously selling his and his wife’s personal holdings in STVI willfully violating FINRA Rules 2020 and 2010. FINRA also alleges that Johnson, Mahalick, and Wynne misidentified broker records to cover up Johnson’s violations of state regulation requirements. For this, FINRA believes that Wynne failed to supervise at Meyers Associates L.P. and failed to supervise Johnson’s IWEB and STVI trades, consequently violating FINRA Rule 2010.
The FINRA Department of Enforcement has requested for the Panel to make findings of fact and conclusions, order the respondents to disgorge any and all ill-gotten gains, and to find specific findings that Johnson willfully violated the Securities Exchange Act. Johnson, Mahalick, and Wynne all left Meyers Associates L.P. in May 2013 and have all been registered with Newport Coast Securities Inc. since then.
Attorney Pearce began his career at the SEC as an enforcement attorney more than 35 years ago. His SEC and FINRA defense law practice clients have included public companies and their officers and directors, broker-dealers, investment advisors, and individuals being investigated in connection with their personal securities transactions. He has broad, extensive experience in matters arising from alleged 10b-5 fraud violations including, “insider trading,” Section 16(b) “short swing profit,” and Section 14 “proxy rule” violations as well as Section 9 “market manipulation” cases.
Have you have been contacted by the SEC or FINRA and believe that you may be subject of an investigation? If so, call Mr. Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce defends various entities and individuals who may be the subject of SEC and FINRA investigations or enforcement actions regarding their alleged involvement in securities laws violations.
This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 35 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to representing investors and financial industry professionals throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at firstname.lastname@example.org for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.