U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22759 / July 25, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Geoffrey J. Eiten and National Financial Communications Corp., Civil Action No. 1:11-CV-12185 (District of Massachusetts, December 12, 2011)
Massachusetts-Based Penny Stock Promoter Ordered to Pay Over $1.6 Million in Penny Stock Fraud Case
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on July 24, 2013, a final judgment was entered by default against Massachusetts-based National Financial Communications, Inc. ("NFC"). NFC is a defendant in an action filed by the Commission in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on December 12, 2011, alleging that Massachusetts resident Geoffrey J. Eiten and NFC made material misrepresentations and omissions in penny stock publications they issued.
The judgment enjoins NFC from further violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws (Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder) and from certain specified activities related to penny stocks, including the promotion of a penny stock or deriving compensation from the promotion of a penny stock. The judgment also imposed a penny stock bar against NFC which permanently bars it from participating in an offering of penny stock, including engaging in activities with a broker, dealer, or issuer for the purpose of issuing, trading, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock. The judgment orders NFC to pay disgorgement of $605,262, representing NFC's ill-gotten gains, plus prejudgment interest of $38,819 and a civil penalty of $1 million.
The Commission's complaint alleged that Eiten and NFC issued a penny stock promotional publication called the "OTC Special Situations Reports." According to the complaint, the defendants promoted penny stocks in this publication on behalf of clients in order to increase the price per share and/or volume of trading in the market for the securities of penny stock companies. The complaint alleged that Eiten and NFC made misrepresentations in these reports about the penny stock companies they promoted. For example, the Commission's complaint alleged that during 2010, Eiten and NFC issued reports promoting four penny stock companies: (1) Clean Power Concepts, Inc., based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, a purported manufacturer and distributor of various fuel additives and lubrication products made from crushed seed oil; (2) Endeavor Power Corp., based in Robesonia, Pennsylvania, a purported recycler of value metals from electronic waste; (3) Gold Standard Mining, based in Agoura Hills, California, a purported owner of Russia gold mining operations; and (4) Nexaira Wireless Corp., based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a purported developer and seller of wireless routers. The Commission's complaint alleged that in these four reports, Eiten and NFC made material misrepresentations and omissions, concerning, among other things, the companies' financial condition, future revenue projections, intellectual property rights, and Eiten's interaction with company management as a basis for his statements.
According to the complaint, Eiten and NFC were hired to issue the above reports and used false information provided by their clients, without checking the accuracy of the information with the companies in question or otherwise ensuring that the statements they were making in the OTC Special Situations Report were true.
The Commission's case against Eiten is still pending.
For further information, please see Litigation Release No. 22188.