Financial Enforcement Actions | Week of May 16 to May 22

Enforcement Report May 16 - 22

CFPB

2 Enforcement Documents

$0.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Commonwealth Equity Group, LLC (d/b/a Key Credit Repair); Nikitas Tsoukales (a/k/a Nikitas Tsoukalis)
Violation: Their telemarketing of credit-repair services, the defendants violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s (CFPA) prohibition against deceptive acts or practices and the Telemarketing Sales Rule’s (TSR) prohibitions on deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts or practices... Read More

CFTC

1 Enforcement Document

$0.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: CASPER MIKKELSEN, a/k/a “Carsten Nielsen,” a/k/a “Brian Thomson,” a/k/a “Thomas Jensen” and a/k/a “Casper Muller,”
Violation: Mikkelsen violated 7 U.S.C. § 6o(1)(A) and (B), in that by use of the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, while acting as a CTA, he directly or indirectly employed a device, scheme, or artifice to defraud clients or engaged in transactions, practices, or a course of business which operated as a fraud or deceit upon clients, by, among other things: misappropriating client funds, creating fake account statements, and misrepresenting: (1) his historical trading performance; (2) that he would use their funds to buy and sell forex; and (3) that clients’ account statements accurately reflected profits and losses of forex trades executed on their behalf. Each act of fraudulent solicitation, misappropriation, and false statement or report, including but not limited to those specifically alleged herein, is alleged as a separate and distinct violation of 7 U.S.C. § 6o(1)(A) and (B)... Read More

FTC

5 Enforcement Documents

$0.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: I Works
Violation: I Works ran numerous online marketing campaigns, which falsely advertised that federal grants were generally available
for personal use, and that people who used I Works’ money-making product were likely to make a lot of money... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Lead Express, Inc., et al.,
Violation: A claim under 15 U.S.C. § 1664 of the TILA and 12 C.F.R. § 1026.24(d) of Regulation Z for failing to make required disclosures in advertisements for the loans and extensions of credit that defendants market and offer to consumers.39 x A claim under 15 U.S.C. § 1693e(a) of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and 12 C.F.R. § 1005.10(b) of the EFTA’s implementing Regulation E for failing to obtain consumers’ authorization for recurring bank debits that defendants cause to be made or failing to provide consumers with copies of their authorizations... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Thermalean, Lipodrene, and Spontane-ES
Violation: the defendants made deceptive claims about the efficacy and safety of two supposed weight loss supplements... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Miniclip S.A., a corporation.
Violation: Miniclip S.A. violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by misrepresenting its status in a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
(“COPPA”) safe harbor program... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: First Data Merchant Services LLC
Violation: ignored repeated warnings from employees, banks, and others that they were laundering, or assisting laundering, and facilitating
payments for companies that were breaking the law over a number of years... Read More

UK-FCA

15 Enforcement Documents

£7,500.00 in Fines

Penalties: £7,500.00
Respondent: Richard K. Moore (aka Spike Moore) and Richard K. Moore Insurance Agency, Inc.
Violation: Respondents have complied with the foregoing Order terms. The Director reserves the right to immediately assess and collect the suspended civil penalty upon a determination that Respondents have violated any term of this Order. 23. This Order is binding upon Respondents’ successors and assigns. 24. This Order is a “Final Order” under ORS 183.310(6)(b). Subject to that provision, the entry of this Order does not limit other remedies that are available to the Director under Oregon law... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Acacia Trading Limited
Violation: ATL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. ATL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that ATL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Cornish Hot Tubs Limited
Violation: CHTL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. CHTL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that CHTL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Dunstable Car Centre
Violation: DCC has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. DCC has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that DCC has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: D.B.Holdings (West Yorkshire) Ltd
Violation: DBHL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. DBHL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that DBHL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Clacton Car Sales Ltd
Violation: CCSL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. CCSL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that CCSL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Global Remarketing Limited
Violation: GRL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. GRL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that GRL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Grange Finance Limited
Violation: GFL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. GFL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that GFL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: HMS Cars Ltd
Violation: HMS has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. HCL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that HMS has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Mr Owen (trading as Owen’s Bikes & Tools)
Violation: Mr Owen has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. Mr Owen has not been open and co-operative in all his dealings with the Authority, in that Mr Owen has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for him to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that he is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Mr Basran (trading as Horseley Fields Motors)
Violation: Mr Basran has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. Mr Basran has not been open and co-operative in all his dealings with the Authority, in that Mr Basran has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for him to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that he is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Intignis Media Ltd
Violation: IML has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. IML has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that IML has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Small Batch Coffee Ltd
Violation: SBCL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. SBCL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that SBCL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Oldham Van Centre Limited
Violation: OVCL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. OVCL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that OVCL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Nicholas Anderton (trading as Little Gems Cars)
Violation: Mr Anderton has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. Mr Anderton has not been open and co-operative in all his dealings with the Authority, in that Mr Anderton has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for him to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that he is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system... Read More

SEC

14 Enforcement Documents

$60,000.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Paul Horton Smith, Sr.; Northstar Communications, LLC; Planning Services, Inc.; and eGate, LLC
Violation: Violating the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The complaint seeks injunctions, return of ill-gotten gains plus interest, and civil penalties... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Robert Gilbert
Violation: Engaged in fraudulently selling securities, including HECC, and that, after he discontinued his employment with PTP but in coordination with another individual, he solicited potential investors to purchase HECC securities by providing materially false and misleading information... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Paul Ewer
Violation: engaged in fraudulently selling securities, including NWMH, HECC, and ICEIF, and that he solicited potential investors to purchase NWMH, HECC, and ICEIF by providing materially false and misleading information... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: American Realty Funds Corporation
Violation: Respondent failed to comply with Exchange Act Section 13(a) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder... Read More

Penalties: $60,000.00
Respondent: TSP Capital Management Group, LLC
Violation: failed to timely distribute annual audited financial statements prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) to the investors in the largest private fund that it advised in each fiscal year from 2014 through 2018, or even to retain an auditor for the years after 2015, resulting in violations of Section 206(4) of the Advisers Act and Rule 206(4)-2 thereunder, commonly referred to as the “custody rule... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Nicholas Fleming aka "Nick Franklin"
Violation: he participated in a scheme to defraud U.S. residents by convincing them to invest in Niyato under the false pretense that Niyato was a legitimate company with significant operational facilities and proprietary technology... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Visium Asset Management, LP
Violation: engaged in a mismarking scheme, using sham broker quotes to falsely inflate the value of securities held by a fund for which Visium acted as investment adviser (the “Credit Fund”)... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: John Donovan, CPA
Violation: As a partner of the firm, Donovan was charged by KPMG’s Code of Conduct with helping to ensure that KPMG professionals he supervised understood the importance of ethics and integrity... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Timothy Daly, CPA
Violation: Daly willfully violated PCAOB Rule 3500T, which requires Daly to comply with ethics standards, including to maintain integrity, as described in the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct when performing any professional service in connection with the preparation or issuance of any audit report,8 within the meaning of Section 4C(a)(3) of the Exchange Act and Rule 102(e)(1)(iii) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Paul Russell Montgomery, Jr., Michael David Fisher, James Hurst Willingham
Violation: Used deceptive offering materials and promotional videos to sell $2.7 million in fraudulent oil & gas investments... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Michael Bellach, CPA
Violation: Bellach willfully violated PCAOB Rule 3500T, which requires Bellach to comply with ethics standards, including to maintain
integrity, as described in the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct when performing any professional service in connection with the preparation or issuance of any audit report,8 within the meaning of Section 4C(a)(3) of the Exchange Act and Rule 102(e)(1)(iii) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice... Read More

FINRA

10 Enforcement Documents

$1,109,466.13 in Fines

Penalties: $125,000.00
Respondent: CODA Markets, Inc.
Violation: During the period of June 2010 through October 2017 ( the "review period"), the firm published inaccurate data in monthly reports it was required to make public pursuant to Rule 605 of Regulation NMS ("Rule 605 reports"). During the review period, the firm failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures ("WSPs") reasonably designed to achieve compliance with Rule 605 of Regulation NMS, in violation of NASD Rule 3010 (prior to December 1, 2014), and FINRA Rules 3110 (on and after December 1, 2014) and 2010... Read More

Penalties: $290,000.00
Respondent: 1Globe Capital, LLC and Jiaqiang "Chiang" Li
Violation: Li, no later than July 7, 2017, failed to file, as required by Rules 13d-1(e)(1) and 13d1(f)(1), a Schedule 13D disclosing, in connection with all of the Sinovac common stock shares of which he was a beneficial owner, his plans to support Group B’s proposed Sinovac privatization, thereby violating Exchange Act Section 13(d)(1) and Rule 13d-1 thereunder. E. 1Globe Capital and Li, no later than January 22, 2018, failed to file a Schedule 13D amendment disclosing their participation in an effort to replace four of Sinovac’s five incumbent directors through a shareholder vote at the Sinovac annual meeting, thereby violating Exchange Act Section 13(d)(2) and Rule 13d-2 thereunder... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Leonard C. Kinsman
Violation: Kinsman refused to appear for on-the-record testimony that was requested pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210, in violation of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010... Read More

Penalties: $634,466.13
Respondent: SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.
Violation: "From January 2015 until January 2018 (the ""Relevant Period""), SunTrust failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (""WSPs"") that were reasonably designed to ensure compliance with FINRA Rule 2111 in relation to solicited sales of non-traditional exchange traded funds (""NTETFs"") by its registered representatives. These supervisory failures resulted in losses during the Relevant Period of $584,466.13 in 95 SunTrust customer accounts, which SunTrust has already voluntarily fully paid in restitution to these customers. As a result, SunTrust violated FINRA Rules 31 lO(a), 31 lO(b) and 2010."... Read More

Penalties: $15,000.00
Respondent: Christopher M. Roumayeh
Violation: During the period of June 2014 through June 2019 (the “Relevant Period”), Roumayeh engaged in two outside business activities without providing prior written notice to Merrill 2 Lynch. Specifically, Roumayeh and his Firm customer (“Customer A”) purchased a franchise involved in the professional video gaming industry (the “Franchise”). As the owner, Roumayeh managed the Franchise’s day-to-day operations. He also formed five corporate entities related to the Franchise’s operations, serving as an officer and director for them, and solicited prospective investors in the Franchise. In addition, Roumayeh formed and managed a separate limited liability company through which he purchased commercial real estate. By engaging in outside business activities without providing prior written notice to Merrill Lynch, Roumayeh violated FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010... Read More

Penalties: $15,000.00
Respondent: Ustocktrade Securities, Inc.
Violation: "Between June 1, 2017 and October 31, 2017 (the ""Relevant Period""), the Firm violated Section 15(c) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (""SEA"") and Rule 15c3-3 thereunder by failing to maintain adequate balances in its ""Special Reserve Bank Account for the Exclusive Benefit of Customers"" (""Special Reserve Account""). On eight instances during the Relevant Period, the Firm calculated the amount required to be maintained in its Special Reserve Account based on payments of cash to its clearing firm that were not timely made, resulting in Special Reserve Account deficiencies, ranging between $2,315 and $204,494. Additionally, on four occasions during the Relevant Period, the Firm failed to make timely deposits to its Special Reserve Account, causing reserve deficiencies, ranging between approximately $56,000 and $58,000. As a result, the Firm violated Section 15(c) of the SEA, Rule 15c3-3 promulgated thereunder and FINRA Rule 2010"... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Adrienne Jaime Mak
Violation: Adrienne Jaime Mak failed to respond to FINRA’s requests for information made pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210 in June and September 2018. As a result, Mak violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010... Read More

Penalties: $30,000.00
Respondent: Martin Joseph Noonan
Violation: During the period December 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014 (the “review period”) Santander failed to reasonably supervise its Credit Trading Desk which executed 163 fixed income transaction pairs that were non-bona fide. Santander also failed to establish a reasonably designed supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures, to achieve compliance with FINRA Rule 5210, FINRA’s prohibition on non-bona fide trading... Read More

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