SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17147 / September 21, 2001
SEC v. BigPlayStocks.com, Inc. and John R. Luers, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Civil Action No. 01-CV-949 (E.D. Wis.)
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced today that it filed an action in a federal district court charging BigPlayStocks.com, Inc. ("BPS") and its president John R. Luers ("Luers") with violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Commission is seeking permanent injunctive relief against Luers and BPS, and civil penalties against Luers.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Luers and BPS have provided false and misleading information to subscribers and potential subscribers to the internet website, www.BigPlayStocks.com. The sports-themed website is operated by BPS and Luers, who bills himself "the Stock Jock." Through the site, Luers and BPS provide paid subscribers with stock-trading recommendations supposedly produced by a staff of multiple professional traders. Luers and BPS represent to subscribers and potential subscribers that these recommendations have been highly successful, and that Luers frequently makes and profits from the recommended trades. For over a year, the site also featured a "live trading room," where, according to Luers and BPS, subscribers could watch the Stock Jock in "real time" as he made profitable stock trades.
The Commission's complaint alleges that there is no staff of professional traders and that Luers alone produces the trading recommendations and operates the site. According to the complaint, Luers usually does not trade in accordance with his advice, and his personal trading record does not support the performance claims he and BPS make. Also according to the complaint, most of the trading activity depicted in the "live trading room" and elsewhere on the site is hypothetical, a fact that Luers and BPS do not reveal to subscribers and potential subscribers. The complaint further alleges that Luers and BPS mischaracterize market history and other information to present a positive track record for their recommendations. In particular, the complaint alleges that Luers and BPS have claimed trades at prices that never existed in the market during the relevant period.
For further information contact Thomas J. Eme at (312) 353-1475 or John J. Sikora at (312) 353-7418.