Articles Tagged with SEC Investigation Attorney

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.” Continue Reading

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against Michael J. Fefferman, a Senior Director of Information Technology for Ardea Biosciences, Inc. (Ardea). The SEC alleged that Mr. Fefferman leaked non-public information regarding pharmaceutical trials to his brother-in-law, Chad Wiegand, who passed the inside tip to another stockbroker. Between April 2009 and April 2012, Mr. Fefferman allegedly tipped Mr. Wiegand about four separate announcements beforehand that were likely to have a positive impact on Ardea stock prices. The SEC alleged that the Defendants received $550,000 in illegal profits from this insider trading scheme.

The first announcement concerned a global agreement with Bayer Healthcare, LLC related to the licensing of an Ardea developmental cancer treatment. The second announcement related to the initial testing of a promising drug for the treatment of gout. The third announcement provided positive news about the second phase of testing for the experimental gout treatment. Finally, the fourth announcement published news of the sale of Ardea to AstraZeneca. The price of Ardea stock increased with each announcement and the Defendants allegedly profited illegally from trading of Ardea stock with the non-public information. Continue Reading

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), from February 2012 through January 2014, Christopher A. Novinger and Brady J. Speers, and their company NFS Group, LLC d/b/a Novers Financial (collectively the “Defendants”) fraudulently offered and sold life settlement interests. In so doing, the SEC claims that Mr. Novinger and Mr. Speers made false and misleading representations to prospective investors about their purported business experience and financial expertise and that the Defendants misrepresented the investments.

The SEC alleged that Mr. Novinger and Mr. Speers also constructed fake, meaningless titles for themselves to make investors believe that they were experienced and sophisticated financial advisers. The SEC alleged that Mr. Novinger and Mr. Speers used terms such as “licensed financial consultant,” “licensed consultant,” and “licensed financial strategist” toward that end. In truth, they had no training relating to securities and non-insurance related financial products, including life settlements. The SEC also alleged that the Defendants told investors that the life settlement investments were “safe,” “risk free,” “safe as CDs,” “the most secure, safe method for growing funds,” “federally insured,” and finally comprised of “polices insured with large, A-rated companies and backed by Federal Reserves.” Continue Reading