SEC Announces Charges in Massive Long Island-Based Penny Stock Boiler Room
Yesterday, the SEC brought fraud charges against 13 individuals allegedly involved in two Long Island-based cold calling scams that bilked more than one hundred victims out of more than $10 million through high-pressure sales tactics and lies about penny stocks.
The SEC alleges that the orchestrators of the scheme used boiler room-style call centers to make hundreds of thousands of cold calls that included the use of threatening and deceitful sales techniques to pressure victims – many of whom were senior citizens – into purchasing penny stocks.
SEC investigators learned of the alleged scheme from investor complaints and used technological tools and innovative investigative approaches to build evidence – within a matter of months from receiving the complaints – against the defendants who went to great lengths to evade detection.
“These kinds of scams cause devastating harm to investors,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “Investors must beware of the sort of conduct alleged in our complaint – things like unsolicited calls, high-pressure sales tactics, and promises that a no-name stock is going to skyrocket.”
The SEC charged POWERTRADERSPRESS.COM, INC., ELITESTOCK RESEARCH, INC., ERIK MATZ, RONALD HARDY, ANTHONY VASSALLO, STEPHANIE LEE, JEFFREY CHARTIER, LAWRENCE D. ISEN, ROBERT GLECKMAN, MICHAEL WATTS, BRIAN HEEPKE,DENNIS J. VERDEROSA, EMIN COHEN,SERGIO RAMIREZ, ASHLEY ANTOS.