Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SEC Charges Canadian Couple with Touting Penny Stocks Through Social Networking Sites

The SEC announced today that it obtained an emergency asset freeze against a Canadian couple who fraudulently touted penny stocks through their website, Facebook and Twitter. The SEC alleges that since at least April 2009, Carol McKeown and Daniel F. Ryan, a couple residing in Montreal, Canada, have touted U.S. microcap companies. According to the SEC's complaint, McKeown and Ryan received millions of shares of touted companies through their two corporations, defendants Downshire Capital Inc., and Meadow Vista Financial Corp., as compensation for their touting. McKeown and Ryan sold the shares on the open market while PennyStockChaser simultaneously predicted massive price increases for the issuers, a practice known as "scalping."

The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, also alleges McKeown, Ryan and one of their corporations failed to disclose the full amount of the compensation they received for touting stocks on PennyStockChaser. The SEC alleges that McKeown, Ryan and their corporations have realized at least $2.4 million in sales proceeds from their scalping scheme.


 

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