Litigation Release No. 23496 / March 23, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Guy Gentile, Civil Action No. 16-CV-1619 (JLL) (D.N.J.)

SEC Charges New York Man with Conducting Penny Stock Manipulation Schemes

On March 23, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Guy Gentile, a resident of Putnam Valley, New York, with perpetrating penny stock manipulation schemes.

The SEC alleges that Gentile, who at the relevant time owned and operated a registered broker-dealer based in Carmel, New York, engaged in manipulative trading, provided illegal kick-backs, and distributed promotional mailings of glossy "newsletters" with fake publication names like "Stock Trend Report" and "Global Investor Watch," in order to tout the stocks of purported gold and silver exploration company Raven Gold Corporation (RVNG) and natural gas production company Kentucky USA Energy (KYUS). The newsletters misled investors with purportedly positive - but fake - price and volume trends for these stocks and other false information about the promoters' identity, compensation, and control of the stock. In reality, most of the touted market activity was generated by Gentile and his associates who controlled large blocks of the companies' stocks. Last year, the SEC charged attorney Adam Gottbetter for his role in the KYUS scheme, as well as Canadian stock promoters Mike Taxon and Itamar Cohen for their roles in the RVNG and KYUS schemes.

The SEC's complaint filed in federal court in New Jersey alleges that Gentile violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), 17(a) and 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, and violated and aided and abetted violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5. The SEC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil money penalties, injunctions against future violations, and a bar against participation in penny stock offerings.

The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Newark Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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SEC Complaint