AN attempted manipulation of Boston's Amogear Microcap stock has landed five in hot water with the SEC and deep trouble with the feds and the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office.
What the stock party of five didn't realise is that the FBI had taken control of Amogear in a sting operation designed to route out market manipulation of penny stocks by fraudsters.
Three men have been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud: Andrew J. Affa, 30, Huntington Station, New York; Michael A. Affa 34, Toms River, New Jersey; Mitchell H. Brown, 48, Long Branch, New Jersey.
Two more were only charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud: Christopher R. Putnam, 37, Charleston, South Carolina; Christopher G. Nix, 34, Charleston, South Carolina.
Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division said: “This case is an outstanding example of law enforcement creativity and co-operation trumping Microcap fraudsters.”
Underpinning the seriousness of the allegations, Vince Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division said' "Fund representatives, CEOs, traders, fund managers, equities analysts, lawyers and publicists should take note that Boston FBI agents purposefully designed multiple undercover operations aimed directly at rooting out market manipulation and insider trading."
Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts added, "As is clear from the combined efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and the SEC, market manipulation will not be tolerated.”
The director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office, Paul G. Levenson claimed, “These defendants brazenly attempted to manipulate Amogear’s stock."
Microcap stock firms don't file quarterly results with the SEC. This exposes legitimate investors to scam risks by fraudster who take control of shell companies to engage in price manipulation of the penny stock.
The SEC say Microcap stocks are a fertile hunting ground for fraudsters to make illegal gains from ordinary penny stocks investors.
Source: SEC Newsroom