UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
MICHAEL A. FURR
ORDER ENTERING DEFAULT,
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission or SEC) issued its Order Instituting Proceedings (OIP) on September 20, 2001. On October 17, 2001, the Division of Enforcement (Division) filed a status report, stating that Respondent received the OIP at his home address on September 29, 2001. As proof of service, the Division attached a signed and dated certified mail receipt. Respondent's answer to the OIP was due on October 19, 2001, and no answer has been received.
On October 24, 2001, the Division moved for an order finding Respondent in default, deeming the allegations in the OIP to be true, and imposing a penny stock bar. The time for filing an opposition to that motion has expired, and no opposition has been received.
Accordingly, Respondent is in default for failing to answer the OIP and for failing to respond to a dispositive motion. See Rule 155(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. § 201.155(a)(2). The following allegations in the OIP are deemed to be true:
Michael A. Furr (Furr) resides in California. From at least January 1999 to January 2000, Furr engaged in the public and investor relations business through a variety of entities that he created, owned, and controlled, including Wall Street Research Group, Inc., and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc.
From January 1999 through January 2000, Furr touted at least twenty-six penny stocks on his free website, in printed research reports, and through electronic mail. For several of the stocks, Furr included false financial projections and made misrepresentations about the issuers' business ventures and assets. Furr also engaged in a fraudulent pattern of trading in some of the stocks. The same day as, or within a few days of, issuing reports and electronic mail with buy recommendations, Furr sold stock in the recommended securities without adequately disclosing his intention to sell. In addition, Furr either failed to disclose or misrepresented the compensation he received for touting the securities he recommended.
On September 5, 2000, the Commission filed a civil complaint against Furr in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, SEC v. Furr, No. SACV 00-880 DOC (Eex) (C.D. Cal.), alleging the facts stated above. On May 9, 2001, the district court entered a final judgment permanently enjoining Furr from violating Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
As set forth above, Furr is enjoined by order of a court of competent jurisdiction from engaging in transactions, acts, practices, and courses of business which constitute or would constitute violations of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act or Rule 10b-5 thereunder in connection with the purchase or sale of any securities. At the time of the misconduct described above, Furr was participating in an offering of penny stocks.
In the public interest, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act, Furr is barred from participating in any offering of a penny stock, including: (i) acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent, or other person who engages in activities with a broker, dealer, or issuer for purposes of the issuance or trading in any penny stock; or (ii) inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock.
James T. Kelly
Administrative Law Judge
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