US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Murchinson Ltd. et al: $9M Settlement

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission stating that Murchinson Ltd., of Toronto, Canada; Marc Bistricer, and Paul Zogala, described as citizens and residents of Canada, have agreed to pay penalties totaling $9 million to settle a regulatory investigation that, inter alia, involved an unidentified Bermuda "hedge fund".

Pearson Plc: $1M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $1 million on Pearson Plc, described as a British publicly-listed "multinational educational publishing and services company", for "material misstatements and omissions regarding a 2018 cyber intrusion that affected several million rows of student data across 13,000 school, district, and university AIMSweb 1.0 customer accounts in the United States".

Poloniex LLC: $10.3M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $10.3 million on Poloniex, LLC, of Delaware, for operating "a digital asset trading platform" without registering "as a national securities exchange".

DeFi Money Market et al: $13M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties on Blockchain Credit Partners, d.b.a. DeFi Money Market, of the Cayman Islands; Gregory Keough, and Derek Acree, both of Florida, for an alleged fraud that involved selling "more than $30 million of securities in unregistered offerings by using smart contracts and "decentralized finance" technology to sell digital tokens".

Coinschedule Ltd.: $201K Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $201,688 on Blotics Ltd., formerly doing business as Coinschedule Ltd., described as a United Kingdom-domiciled company that "owned and operated a once-popular website platform, www.coinschedule.com, that publicized current and upcoming offerings for different digital tokens and was accessible in the United States from 2016 to August 2019", for promoting a security without disclosing that it received compensation for doing so.

Momentus Inc. et al: $8M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties of $8 million on Momentus Inc., Stable Road Acquisition Corp., SRC-NI Holdings LLC, and Brian Kabot for alleged securities fraud involving, inter alia, Mikhail Kokorich, described as "a Russian citizen residing in Switzerland".

PLS, CPA et al: Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties on PLS, CPA, Chang G. Park, Joseph Yongyun Lee, and Juchi Lee, all accountants, for "improper professional conduct" involving, inter alia, Interactive Multi-Media Auction Corporation, described as "a British Virgin Islands corporation with its principal place of business in the United Kingdom" and "formerly headquartered in Hong Kong".

Amec Foster Wheeler Ltd.: $22.7M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $22.7 million on Amec Foster Wheeler Limited, described as a Switzerland-domiciled parent of a group "with a significant presence in the United Kingdom", regarding "a bribery scheme to obtain an oil and gas engineering and design contract in Brazil" involving Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras.

Gil Beserglik et al: Industry Bans

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing industry bans on Gil Beserglik, 64, a citizen of Israel; Raz Beserglik, 35, a citizen of Israel, and Kai Christian Petersen, 53, a citizen of Germany, regarding their involvement in binary options brokers.

S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC: $9M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $9 million on S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC for regulatory breaches involving Credit Suisse AG, of Switzerland.

Peter DeCaprio: $75K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing sanctions, including a fine of $75,000, on Peter J. Decaprio, of Boston, Massachusetts, for regulatory breaches involving, inter alia, an "unregistered fund" in the British Virgin Islands.

David Hu: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on David Hu for securities fraud involving International Investment Group LLC and funds in the Cayman Islands and Curaçao.

Wireline, Inc.: $650K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $650,000 on Wireline, Inc., described as a Delaware-domiciled "early-stage project focused on the development of a decentralized, blockchain based platform", for an unregistered securities offering and alleged fraud involving, inter alia, Wireline Developer Fund Ltd., a.k.a. Wireline Development Fund, of the Cayman Islands. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert showed that, in the Cayman Islands General Registry, the directors of Wireline Developer Fund Ltd. are identified as Lucas Geiger and Rich Burdon.

Deutsche Bank AG: $43M Penalty

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a penalty of $43.3 million on Deutsche Bank AG for regulatory breaches involving, inter alia, entities in Abu Dhabi, British Virgin Islands, China, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.

Tierion, Inc.: $250K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $250,000 on Tierion, Inc. for regulatory breaches involving the sale of digital tokens by its "Cayman Islands-subsidiary, Tierion International Ltd.". Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert in the Cayman Islands General Registry showed that the directors of Tierion International Ltd. are Casey McDonald and Wayne Vaughan.

Mustafa Abdel Wadood: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Mustafa Abdel Wadood, described as a citizen of Egypt, for "the misappropriation of fund assets from one private equity fund client of the Abraaj Group and an offering fraud against investors in another Abraaj fund".

Mancera SC, et al: $1.6M Penalty & Bans

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a financial penalty of $1,589,926 on Mancera SC, described as "the Mexican member firm of Ernst & Young Global", and bans on accountants Alejandro Valdez Mendoza, CP and Angel Radames Corral Nieblas, CP, both citizens of Mexico, for regulatory breaches regarding Desarrolladora Homex, SAB de CV, which was described as a construction firm that "engaged in a massive fraudulent accounting scheme over at least a three-year period" and whose shares were listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.

Robinhood Financial, LLC: $65M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $65 million on Robinhood Financial, LLC, described as a Delaware-domiciled "self-directed securities brokerage" based in Menlo Park, California, for "material misrepresentations and omissions by Robinhood relating to its revenue sources".

Mark E. Watson III: $450K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $450,000 on Mark E. Watson III for his "role" in Bermuda-based insurer Argo Group International Holdings Ltd.'s failure to disclose "over $5.3 million in perquisites and personal benefits" while he was the company's CEO, President, and a director.

BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd.: $170M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $170 million on BlueCrest Capital Management Limited, of Jersey, in the Channel Islands, for regulatory breaches involving, inter alia, BlueCrest Capital International Master Fund Limited and BSMA Limited, both of the Cayman Islands.

Rajesh Taneja: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Rajesh Taneja, described as "a citizen of Canada and a resident of Vietnam", for alleged fraud and unregistered activity.

Tradenet Capital Markets Ltd.: $130K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $13,000 on Tradenet Capital Markets Ltd., of Israel, for regulatory breaches.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.: $1B Penalties Re. 1MDB

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $1.06 billion on The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. regarding "a scheme perpetrated by now former senior employees of Goldman Sachs who authorized and paid bribes and kickbacks to government officials in Malaysia and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in order to secure lucrative business for the Company and benefits for themselves" involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a.k.a. 1MDB.

Big Time Holdings Inc.: Securities Registration Revocation

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission revoking the registration of securities issued by Big Time Holdings, Inc., described as a "forfeited Delaware corporation located in Douglas, Isle of Man". Editor's Note: In a filing with the SEC on October 29th, 2018, Big Time Holdings Inc. identified its CEO and sole director as David Smeed, its former directors and officers as Thomas DeNunzio, Brian Kistler, and Mandla Gwadiso, and its principal shareholders as Ascot Group Plc, of the Isle of Man, and Palewater Global Management, Inc., of New York, NY. Records filed with the Isle of Man's Companies Registry show that the directors of Ascot Group Plc are David Gordon Smeed, of Dublin, Ireland, and Lee John Bernard Murphy, of the Isle of Man.

JBS SA et al: $27M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $27,416,565 on JBS S.A., Joesley Batista, and Wesley Batista, all of Brazil, regarding "a bribery scheme".

Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC: $1.25M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $1.25 million on Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC for regulatory breaches.

Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC: $765K Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $764,836 on Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC for regulatory breaches.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC: $35M Penalty

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $25 million and disgorgement of $10 million on J.P. Morgan Securities LLC for regulatory breaches.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV: $9.5M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $9.5 million on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. , described as "a Dutch public company headquartered in London, United Kingdom", for the "VW 'dieselgate' scandal".

Christopher Bachinski: $36K Penalty

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a penalty of $36,590 on Christopher D. Bachinski for alleged insider trading involving Buckeye Partners LP, of Houston, Texas, and IFM Investors Pty Ltd., of Australia.

Michael Vernon: $35K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $35,000 on Michael Vernon, a resident of Spain, for alleged fraud involving TCA Fund Management Group Corp., of Florida; TCA Global Credit Fund GP Ltd., TCA Global Credit Fund LP, TCA Global Credit Fund Ltd., and TCA Global Credit Master Fund LP, all of the Cayman Islands.

BMW et al: $18M Fine

Administrative Order imposing a fine of $18 million in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, of Germany; BMW of North America, LLC and BMW US Capital, LLC, both of Delaware, regarding "inaccurate disclosures ... of its retail vehicle sales volume in the United States".

Steven Rosen: $35K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $35,000 on Steven Rosen, a resident of Kew Gardens, New York, for alleged fraud involving TCA Fund Management Group Corp., of Florida; TCA Global Credit Fund GP Ltd., TCA Global Credit Fund LP, TCA Global Credit Fund Ltd., and TCA Global Credit Master Fund LP, all of the Cayman Islands.

Northern Trust Global Fund Services Cayman Ltd. et al: $167K Penalties

Administrative Order imposing financial penalties totaling $167,629 on Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services LLC and Northern Trust Global Fund Services Cayman Limited, of the Cayman Islands, "as the fund administrators for the LR Global Frontier Master Fund, Ltd. and two feeder funds, the LR Global Frontier Fund, Ltd. (offshore) and the LR Global Frontier Fund LP (onshore)", for regulatory breaches regarding an alleged fraud by Donald S. LaGuardia, Jr.

Unikrn, Inc.: $6.1M Penalty

Administrative Order imposing a $6.1 million penalty on Unikrn, Inc., described as Delaware-domiciled, Washington State-based "operator of an online eSports gaming and gambling platform", regarding an unregistered securities offering of a digital token known as UnikoinGold that, inter alia, involved Bermuda-domiciled Unikrn Bermuda Ltd., before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Editor's Note: Registers of Directors & Officers and Members for Unikrn Bermuda Ltd. that were obtained by OffshoreAlert from the company's registered agent in 2018 showed that, as of August 16, 2018, the sole shareholder of the company was Unikrn Inc. and that its directors were David Antivilo, of Las Vegas, Nevada, who was also Chief Compliance Officer; Kingsley Edwards, of Las Vegas, Nevada; Christopher G. Garrod, and Jacqueline King, both of Bermuda. On the Government of Bermuda's website, the current directors of the company are identified as Karl Flores, of Australia; Rahul Sood, of Washington State, USA; Christopher Garrod, and Jacqueline King. On Unirkn's website at www.unikrn.com, it is stated that the group was "Established in 2014 as a collaboration between Rahul Sood and Karl Flores".

John Geraci: Industry Ban

Administrative Order imposing an industry ban on John Geraci, described as a Florida resident who was "the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Asset Management, a Cayman Islands-based asset manager during the time of the alleged misconduct, from approximately the summer of 2015 to the fall of 2016", before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Anton Senderov et al: Industry Bans

Administrative Order imposing industry bans on Anton Senderov and Lior Barbazara, both citizens of Israel, regarding their involvement in "internet binary options brokers LBinary and Ivory Option", before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.: $67.3M Penalties

Administrative Order imposing penalties totaling $67.3 million on Herbalife Nutrition Ltd., described as "a direct selling company incorporated in the Cayman Islands with headquarters in the United States" whose shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving Herbalife China, before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Interactive Brokers LLC: $11.5M Penalties

Administrative Order imposing penalties of $11.5 million on Interactive Brokers LLC, described as "a registered broker0dealer headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut", before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

World Acceptance Corporation: $21.7M Penalty

Administrative Order imposing penalties totaling $21.7 million against World Acceptance Corporation, of South Carolina, for "violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" regarding a "bribery scheme" involving "WAC's former wholly-owned subsidiary in Mexico, WAC de Mexico, S.A. de CV".

Benjamin Alderson: Industry Ban

Administrative Order imposing an industry ban on Benjamin Alderson, a resident of the United Kingdom and a former CEO of deVere USA Inc., before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Novartis AG: $112M Penalties

Administrative Order imposing penalties against Novartis AG, described as a Switzerland-based "global provider of pharmaceutical and healthcare products", for "improper activities", including "improper payments", "forged contracts", and "false books and records", involving its subsidiaries and affiliates in Greece, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam, before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.: $900K Fine

Administrative Order imposing a $900,000 fine on Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd., a Bermuda-domiciled provider of insurance and reinsurance whose shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, for failing to disclose "over $5.3 million" in perquisites to Mark E. Watson III, its former CEO, president, and director, before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

BitClave PTE Ltd.: $29M Penalties

Administrative Order imposing disgorgement, interest, and a civil penalty totaling $29.3 million against BitClave PTE Ltd., described as "an early-stage blockchain services company that operates through an entity in Singapore and maintains its principal place of operations in San Jose, California", for conducting an unregistered Initial Coin Offering, before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Warren Davis: Administrative Proceedings

Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings against Warren Anthony Davis, described as a citizen of the Bahamas and founder and president of Gibraltar Global Securities Inc., "a Bahamian broker-dealer", regarding the sale of shares of Magnum d'Or, "a penny stock".

Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC: $3.5M Fine

Administrative Order imposing a fine of $3.5 million against Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC for breaching "a conflict of interest rule, by issuing or maintaining credit ratings where MCR employees who participated in determining or monitoring the credit ratings also participated in the sales or marketing of a product or service of MCR", before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

1Globe Capital LLC et al: Penalties

Order Imposing Penalties for securities violations on 1Globe Capital, LLC, described as a Delaware company based in Boston, MA, and Beijing, China that is "a family office that purchases stock listed on US exchanges", and Jiaqiang 'Chiang' Li, described as a resident of Boston and Beijing, regarding trading in Sinovac Biotech Ltd., described as an Antigua and Barbuda-domiciled firm based in China whose shares are listed on NASDAQ, before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bloomberg Tradebook LLC: $5M Fine

Administrative Order imposing a $5 million civil money penalty against Bloomberg Tradebook LLC for "omissions of material facts and material misstatements made by Tradebook, then an agency broker-dealer, in connection with its use of an undisclosed order routing arrangement called the Low Cost Router", before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jeffery Curran: Suspension

Administrative Order suspending chartered accountant Jeffery A. Curran, of Calgary, Canada, from appearing before the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding "false accounting" by Penn West Petroleum Ltd., of which he was Vice President of Accounting and Reporting.
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