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The SEC To The Rescue!

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The SEC gets a bad rap. This is because they richly deserve it. For years they have concentrated on petty frauds at the expense of actually uncovering massive, systemically dangerous shenanigans, even when led directly to them. However, it would be rude to call them irredeemable. They do, after all, provide very entertaining copy on occasion:

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged eight participants in a penny stock manipulation ring that allegedly pumped the market prices of at least four stocks and generated more than $6.2 million in illicit profits when they dumped shares on the market.
The SEC alleges that Pawel Dynkowski, who resided in Newark, Del., carried out the market manipulation schemes with others he met through a penny stock web site, which is operated by Matthew Brown of Aliso Viejo, Calif.

We have to admit, we were somewhat bored reading these materials, until some details emerged. To wit:

The SEC alleges that Dynkowski personally saw to it that the manipulative trading was coordinated with misleading press releases from the company, and in some instances he wrote the press releases for Asia Global himself. According to the SEC's complaint, Dynkowski instructed Brown on Aug. 24, 2006, to have Asia Global issue a press release hyping the company's second quarter 2006 financial results and to "make it sound ENORMOUS." On September 1, Asia Global issued a press release claiming that its profits for July 2006 were 745 percent greater than its profits for July 2005.

Or perhaps:

Furthermore, according to the SEC's complaint, Asia Global issued a press release on Feb. 6, 2007, claiming that its subsidiary had just received a license to produce 104 episodes of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" in China.

We don't know about the rest of you, but we sleep better at night knowing the SEC people are on the wall somewhere. Locked and loaded.
SEC Charges Eight Participants in Penny Stock Manipulation Ring []


SEC Burns Whistleblower In The Most SEC Way Possible

In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission has had its share a fuck-ups come to light. The regulator took a pass on heeding the warning signals by Bernie Madoff himself that he was running a Ponzi scheme, it chose to go after David Einhorn rather than Allied Capital when the hedge fund manager suggested all was not right at the company, and yesterday, it was announced that the Commission is suing Egan-Jones for lying about having rated 150 ABS bonds on an SEC application four years ago (in reality it had rated zero), information that could have been fact-checked at the time but was not because there were new clips on,, and to watch. Today the team scored a new victory when it outed an informant. Federal securities regulators, in a sensitive breach, inadvertently revealed the identity of a whistleblower during a probe of a firm that ran a stock trading platform. The gaffe by the Securities and Exchange Commission occurred during an investigation of Pipeline Trading Systems LLC when an SEC lawyer showed an executive who was being questioned a notebook from the whistleblower filled with jottings about trades, calls and meetings. The executive says he recognized the handwriting. Pipeline, which didn't admit or deny the allegations, was the subject of a page-one Wall Street Journal article earlier this month. The article didn't name the whistleblower, but he has now agreed to be publicly identified. He is Peter C. Earle, 41, a former employee of a Pipeline trading affiliate. Mr. Earle said he was "disappointed" the SEC took steps in its probe that ended up disclosing his identity to Pipeline. The SEC confirmed showing the notebook to an executive of the business it was investigating. SEC officials said there is always a risk a whistleblower's identity might be disclosed during an investigation, but its practice has been to avoid unnecessarily revealing an informant's identity. The person shown the notebook (in a November 2010 SEC interview), Gordon Henderson, was the head of Pipeline's trading affiliate, Milstream Strategy Group. He said in an interview that he previously suspected Mr. Earle was an SEC informant. Mr. Henderson's desk was near Mr. Earle's in Milstream's New York office, and he said he recognized Mr. Earle's handwriting in the notebook. Related: "Mr. Earle said he made other internal complaints about trading, and was fired on April 3, 2009. Mr. Henderson said the reasons for dismissal included poor performance and a belief Mr. Earle was having an affair with the wife of another Milstream trader at the time. Mr. Earle denied both allegations, calling the notion of poor performance 'ridiculous.'" Source's Cover Blown By SEC [SEC]