SEC Charges Investor Relations Consultant for Failing to Disclose Compensation
Feb. 28, 2020
File No. 3-19717
February 28, 2020 - The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against Shawn Severson, a Nevada-based investor relations consultant, for failing to disclose that he had been paid to create and distribute newsletters promoting UQM Technologies, Inc.
The SEC's order finds that from December 2015 until April 2016, Severson, the owner and manager of EnergyTech Investor, LLC, failed to disclose that he had been compensated by UQM for publishing a series of newsletters featuring positive content about UQM's products, sales, and business prospects, as well as a "buy" recommendation for UQM's stock. Severson distributed these newsletters through social media accounts and e-mail lists, and posted them to his website, energytechinvestor.com. According to the order, UQM paid Severson $5,300 to create and distribute the newsletters.
The SEC's order finds that Severson violated the anti-touting provision of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933. The SEC's order requires Severson to comply with certain disclosure-related undertakings and to pay disgorgement of $5,300, prejudgment interest of $986, and a civil penalty of $3,500. Severson consented to entry of the order without admitting or denying the SEC's findings.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Eric Day with assistance from James Carlson and Stephan Schlegelmilch. The investigation was supervised by Mark Cave and Anita B. Bandy.