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Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - April 4th, 2014


SEC Charges Two Friends with Insider Trading Ahead of Impending Acquisition Announcement
April 3, 2014, (Litigation Release No. 22965)
According to the complaint, Walter D. Wagner and Alexander J. Osborn traded on insider information they learned from investment banker, John W. Femenia, "about the impending acquisition of The Shaw Group Inc." Wagner has agreed to a settle the charges by "disgorging his ill-gotten gains plus interest, with any additional financial...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - March 28th, 2014


SEC Obtains Order Enforcing Compliance with Order to Pay Over $5 Million in Disgorgement, Prejudgment Interest, and Civil Penalties
March 26, 2014, (Litigation Release No. 22952)
An opinion and order were entered this week "directing Walter Gerasimowicz, Meditron Asset Management, LLC, and Meditron Management Group, LLC to comply with the SEC order requiring them to pay $3,143,029.41 in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest, and a civil penalty of...

BlueVault Partners' Non-Traded REIT Study: Even the Winners do Worse Than Traded REITs

We have noted in our research and our posts that non-traded investments including non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), business development companies (BDCs), oil & gas and equipment leasing partnerships typically have extremely high upfront and ongoing fees. Because of these high costs, illiquidity, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest, these investments should underperform liquid, lower-cost traded investments with similar underlying exposures. For example, non-traded...

La Historia Reescribe la Junta de Reglamentos de Valores Municipales

Kyle Glazier y Lynn Hume, escritores del artículo publicado la semana pasada en Bond Buyer : "Corredores Violan Declaración Oficial de Puerto Rico, MSRB (Junta de Reglamento de Valores Municipales en inglés) Vota a Favor de Transacciones al Detalle" hablan del desastre causado por la venta de pequeñas denominaciones de Bonos de Puerto Rico que van en contra del documento de oferta de dichos bonos. Los artículos "FINRA Examinando Compraventa de Bonos de Puerto Rico" y "FINRA Dice Estar...

The MSRB Re-Writes History

Kyle Glazier and Lynn Hume's story in the Bond Buyer last week, "Brokers Violate Puerto Rico OS, MSRB Rules with Retail Trades", about small denomination trades in the recent Puerto Rico bond offering in contravention of the offering document set off a firestorm. The Wall Street Journal's "Finra Examining Trading in Puerto Rico Bonds" and Bloomberg's "Finra Says It's Examining Trading in New Puerto Rico Bonds" both reported on Friday that FINRA was looking into the suspect trades.

What did...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - March 21st, 2014


Manager of Pre-IPO Investment Funds Settles Fraud Claims
March 20, 2014, (Litigation Release No. 22949)
Frank Mazzola,brokerage firm Felix Investments, LLC, and investment adviserFacie Libre Management, Associates, LLC, have been charged with defrauding "investors in funds created to purchase shares of Facebook, Twitter, and other technology companies prior to their initial public offerings." According to the SEC, Mazzola and Felix Investments "arranged to be...

SEC Litigation Releases: Week in Review - March 14th, 2014

SEC Files Subpoena Enforcement Action Against Charles Riel III for Failure to Produce Documents and Appear for Testimony in Investigation of Reinvest LLC Securities
March 14, 2014, (Litigation Release No. 22943)
The SEC has filed a subpoena enforcement action against Charles Riel III a/k/a Chuck Riel and REinvest LLC. The SEC previously served Riel and REinvest "with document subpoenas in January 2014" and a subpoena for Riel to "appear for sworn testimony in February 2014." According to the...

Municipal Bond Markups are Still Excessive

Monday's Wall Street Journal article, Muni Bond Costs Hit Investors in Wallet: Investors Pay Twice as Much for Municipal Debt as for Corporate Bonds, points out yet again that investors pay far more to buy and sell municipal bonds than they pay to buy and sell similar quantities of corporate bonds or common stocks. The article cites a recent S&P study that finds investors buying a $100,000 municipal bond pays an average spread of 1.73% or $1,730 - twice as much as the 0.87% average spread...

SEC Litigation Releases: Week in Review - March 7th, 2014

SEC Obtains Summary Judgment Win On Liability Against All Defendants in a Penny Stock Fraud Case
March 5, 2014, (Litigation Release No. 22936)
A summary judgment was entered against StratoComm Corporation, its CEO, Roger D. Shearer, and its former Director of Investor Relations, Craig Danzig, for issuing and distributing "public statements falsely portraying the penny stock company as actively engaged in the manufacture and sale of telecommunications systems for use in underdeveloped...

Risk and Return in UBS's Willow Fund

In four blog posts we have detailed the fall of UBS's Willow Fund. See Credit Default Swaps on Steroids: UBS's Willow Fund, Willow Fund's Hedging, Investing and Speculating in Distressed Debt With Credit Default Swaps, Further Reckoning of UBS Willow Fund's CDS Losses and UBS Intentionally Misled Willow Fund Investors About its Troubled CDS Portfolio.

The spectacular collapse of the Willow Fund was not the result of general market conditions operating on the Fund's disclosed investment...

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