SEC Settles with Pond Securities In Market Manipulation Case

Four defendants – Andreas Badian, Jeffrey Graham, Pond Securities, and Ezra Birnbaum – agreed to settle charges of market manipulation, the SEC announced this week. In a complaint filed in April 2006, the SEC alleged that the defendants manipulated the stock of Sedona Corporation and violated record-keeping rules by falsely creating trade tickets. Without admitting or denying the allegations, the defendants agreed to disgorgement of profits and civil penalties of over $700,000. 

Read the SEC release here.

 SEC Wins Summary Judgment Against Matrix Holdings For Fraudulent Investment Schemes

Francis E. Wilde, his company Matrix Holdings, Inc., and other individuals were ordered to pay over $13 million after a California federal court granted the SEC’s summary judgment motion. The SEC alleged that the defendants orchestrated two fraudulent investment schemes. In one, Wilde, through Matrix Holdings, used a fraudulently obtained Treasury bond to open a line of credit and pay personal expenses, creditors, and debt holders of Matrix. In the other scheme, Wilde and the others induced investors to contribute to a “bank guarantee funding” program, stealing the investor deposits through undisclosed fees and Ponzi-style payments to old investors.

Read the SEC Release here.

Insider Trading: Former Trader Settles Charges in Connection with 3Com Corp Acquisition

Eric Rogers, former trader at Spectrum Trading LLC, has agreed to settle charges of insider trading.  Rogers was a tippee at the end of the scheme, which began when two attorneys at Ropes & Gray LLP misappropriated information about an upcoming acquisition of 3Com Corp.   Rogers’ initial penalty of over $127,000 in penalties was waived due to his personal financial condition.  

Read the SEC release here.

Insider Trading: Georgia Resident Settles Charges In Connection With Southwest-AirTran Merger

The SEC announced it has charged John Darden, a resident of Georgia, with insider trading in connection with the 2010 merger agreement between Southwest Airlines Company and Airtran Holdings, Inc.  Darden purchased 40,000 common shares of the company after learning of the merger from an AirTran board member. Darden agreed to pay approximately $330,000 in disgorged profits and civil penalties. 

Read the SEC complaint here.