Two South Florida Men Barred From Penny Stock Offerings For Engaging In a Microcap Pump-and-Dump Scheme

Litigation Release No. 24127 / May 2, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Eddy U. Marin and Shane R. Spierdowis, No. 18-cv-21744 (S.D. Fla. filed May 2, 2018)

Two South Florida men have agreed to lifetime bars from the penny stock business to settle charges that they orchestrated a fraudulent pump-and-dump scheme involving shares of Valentine Beauty Inc., a Sunrise, Florida, company that purported to be in the beauty products business.

The SEC alleges that Eddy Marin of Davie, Florida, secretly gained control of the publicly traded shares of Valentine Beauty and then issued the stock to himself, stock promoter Shane Spierdowis, of Boca Raton, Florida, and others. Marin, who is a convicted felon, and Spierdowis orchestrated a marketing campaign touting Valentine's purported operations and Spierdowis paid other promoters to tout the company. Once the promotional campaign increased the liquidity of Valentine's stock, Marin and Spierdowis sold a significant portion of their shares, collectively reaping more than $250,000 in stock sale proceeds.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida today announced criminal charges against Marin and Spierdowis.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in Miami, charges Marin and Spierdowis with violating Sections 5(a) and (c) and 17(a)(1) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder. The complaint also charges Marin with violating Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act. Marin and Spierdowis agreed to settle the SEC's charges and be barred from the penny stock industry. The settlement with the SEC, which is subject to court approval, also permanently enjoins Marin and Spierdowis from violating the charged provisions of the federal securities laws and provides that the court will decide the amounts of disgorgement, interest, and civil penalties at a later date.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by the Enforcement Division's Microcap Fraud Task Force and Lina M. Fernandez in the Miami office, and supervised by Elisha L. Frank. Wilfredo Fernandez is leading the SEC's litigation. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.