Article: NJ Securities Trader Gets 18 Months For $17M Stock Scheme

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NJ Securities Trader Gets 18 Months For $17M Stock Scheme

Bill Wichert, 22 December 2020

A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday dashed a securities trader’s hopes of receiving home confinement, sentencing him to 18 months behind bars based on his plea agreement with the government over charges he orchestrated a market manipulation scheme that reaped more than $17 million in illicit profits.

In making the request for home confinement, Joseph Taub told U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez during a Zoom hearing that “I’ve never been away from my kids more than one day at the most,” and that his wife’s father died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “Article: NJ Securities Trader Gets 18 Months For $17M Stock Scheme”

Article: Testimony Concerning The Involvement of Organized Crime on Wall Street

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Testimony Concerning The Involvement of Organized Crime on Wall Street

Richard H. Walker, 13 September 2019

The government has charged affiliates of organized crime families with securities law violations in several recent cases. While any unlawful activity by organized crime on Wall Street is cause for concern, the Commission believes such activity to be limited and not a threat to the overall integrity of our nation’s securities markets. The Commission’s experience shows that the activities of organized crime have been confined to the “microcap” securities market1 and taint only a small fraction of that sector. Moreover, through joint prosecutions with various United States Attorney’s Offices and state and local prosecutors, as well as the adoption of regulatory initiatives designed to safeguard the microcap market, the Commission has made significant strides in curtailing organized crime activity on Wall Street. Continue reading “Article: Testimony Concerning The Involvement of Organized Crime on Wall Street”

Article: Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning

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Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning

Chuck Webber, Jeffrey P. Justman, James G. Martignon, 05 May 2016

On May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning, No. 14-1132, holding that that the “arising under” test for federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 determines whether federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction under section 27 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) of lawsuits to enforce liabilities or duties created by that Act. (The Court did not address the portion of section 27 that gives federal courts exclusive jurisdiction of “violations of this chapter or the rules and regulations thereunder” with respect to criminal and regulatory enforcement actions.)

Greg Manning owned stock in Escala Group, Inc., a company traded on the NASDAQ. Between 2006 and 2007, Escala’s share price plummeted and Manning lost most of his investment. Manning blamed Merrill Lynch and other financial institutions for devaluing Escala during that period through “naked short sales” of its stock, under which one borrows stock from a broker and sells it to a buyer on the open market, but never delivers the shares back to the buyer. “Naked” short sales of stock may be designed to drive down a company’s stock price, and are accordingly regulated by Regulation SHO. Continue reading “Article: Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning”

Article: Supreme Court to Decide if “Naked” Short Selling State Law Claim May Be Resolved in State Court

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Supreme Court to Decide if “Naked” Short Selling State Law Claim May Be Resolved in State Court

Lisa Soronen, 21 September 2015

The issue in Merrill Lynch v. Manning is whether state law claims alleging that the “naked” short selling at issue in this case violated state law must be heard in federal court.

In a short sale, a short seller identifies a security he or she believes will decline in value, borrows some of those securities from a broker and sells them. When the securities decline in value he or she rebuys them and makes a profit.

In a “naked” short sale the seller doesn’t borrow the securities in time to deliver them to the buyer—to manipulate the security’s price or to avoid borrowing costs. While “naked” short selling isn’t per se illegal under federal law, some schemes may violate federal antifraud law and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. Continue reading “Article: Supreme Court to Decide if “Naked” Short Selling State Law Claim May Be Resolved in State Court”