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9 charged with stock fraud and parallel criminal charges

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, has filed a civil complaint against nine people in connection with an alleged stock fraud scheme. Reportedly, these same nine individuals also face criminal charges in a parallel case. The civil complaint alleges that the publisher of the newsletter, "Wall Street Buy Sell Hold," and eight others engaged in a scheme to manipulate ForceField Energy's stock in return for over $400,000 in kickbacks.

According to news reports, the publisher was paid approximately $241,000 for touting the stock in his newsletter. He also allegedly received more than $180,000 to solicit investors in the stock from his pool of newsletter readers. A regional director for the SEC alleges that the defendants convinced investors to purchase the stock without disclosing that they were being bribed to do so.

The other defendants include an investment relations advisor, two stock promoters and five brokers. The nine individuals are also facing related criminal "scheming" charges for engaging in activities to promote the ForceField Energy stock. These activities include using content-expiring texts and disposable phones to communicate about the stock. One of the defendants allegedly appeared on a Fox Business Network program to promote ForceField Energy stock as a great investment.

The complicated and multi-layered elements of these cases mean that the nine defendants should seek the best legal representation they can find. With a strong investigation, it may be possible for experienced lawyers to uncover additional evidence that could strengthen the defendants' defense. Acquiring attorney representation also means the defendants best interests will be protected if arbitration becomes a viable option. The same advice goes for any New York City resident accused of engaging in securities fraud.

Source: CFO, "Nine Charged in $131M Stock Fraud Scheme," Matthew Heller, May 04, 2016

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