SEC Suspends Trading in 61 OTC Pump-and-Dump Stocks

penny stack
penny stack

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is continuing a step toward booting microcap OTC shell companies from trading as a part of its "Operation Shell Expel" effort. Today's round of stock trading suspensions targets some 61 companies and is called the second-largest trading suspension in agency history. The largest effort was in 2012 when the SEC suspended trading in some 379 companies in a single day. A note from the SEC calls this "a crackdown against the manipulation of microcap shell companies that are ripe for fraud as they lay dormant in the over-the-counter market."

Today's list of suspensions of 61 empty shell companies is on outfits that are said to be "delinquent in their public filings and seemingly no longer in business based on an analysis by the SEC's Microcap Fraud Working Group." It was even said that once companies become dormant they have great potential to be "hijacked by fraudsters who falsely hype the stock to portray it as a thriving company and coerce investors into ';pump-and-dump' schemes."

Because trading in these companies is suspended, they are obligated to provide updated financial information to prove they are still operational. The SEC order said, "We will aggressively suspend trading in such empty shells to take away a tool of their trade and help rid our markets of fraud."

We have included the 61 company names and included their OTC symbols below:

  • 3CI Complete Compliance Corp. TCCC

  • AHPC Holdings Inc. GLOV

  • American Utilicraft Corp. AMUC

  • Austin Farms Inc. AUFR

  • BancPro Inc. BCPO

  • Baxley Federal Savings Bank BAXF

  • CBR Brewing Co. Inc. CBRAF

  • Centerpoint Bank (Bedford, NH) CPOB

  • China Renyuan International Inc. CRNY

  • Compass Plastics & Technologies Inc. CPTI

  • Devonshire Consolidated Inc. DVNO

  • Edge Business Services Corp. EGBS

  • Inc. EGHDQ

  • Environmental Corp. of America ECAM

  • Environmental Fiber Technologies Inc. EVFB

  • Extreme Motorsports of California, Inc. EMOC

  • Fidelity First Financial Corp. FFIRD

  • Fortune Market Media Inc. FTMK

  • Franklin Ophthalmic Instruments Co. Inc. FKLN

  • Futurebiotics Inc. VITK

  • Geneva Financial Corp. GNVN

  • Globalnet Systems Ltd. ISDN

  • Icy Splash Food & Beverage Inc. IFBV

  • Imaging Center Inc. (The) TIGC

  • InAmerica Inc. INAX

  • IndieMV Media Group Inc. IDMV

  • Integrated Bio Energy Resources Inc. IBIE

  • Interactive Brand Development Inc. IBDI

  • ISI Technology Corp. ISYI

  • Isomet Corp. IOMT

  • Matinee Media Corp. MNEM

  • MediaBay Inc. MBAY

  • Metricom Inc. MCOMQ

  • Midnight Holdings Group Inc. MHGI

  • Municipal Insurance Co. of America MPAL

  • Myriad Entertainment & Resorts Inc. MYRA

  • Oxford Capital Corp. OXFO

  • PanAmerican BanCorp PABN

  • Pennsylvania Warehousing & Safe Deposit Co. PAWH

  • Pipejoin Technologies Inc. PPJN

  • Pogo! Products Ltd. PGOI

  • Inc. POPM

  • Premium Energy Corp. PPTL

  • Relax Investments Ltd. RLXI

  • Riptide Worldwide Inc. RTWW

  • Rocket City Enterprises Inc. RCTY

  • Rocketinfo Inc. RKTI

  • Ronco Corp. RNCP

  • Silver Star Energy Inc. SVSE

  • Sound Health Solutions Inc. SHSO

  • Sovereign Exploration Associates International Inc. SVXA

  • Sports Concepts Inc. SCPT

  • Sports Media Inc. SPTS

  • TMT Capital Corp. TMTP

  • UniMark Group Inc. (The) UNMG

  • Verdant Brands Inc. VERD

  • Viking Power Services Inc. VKPW

  • Vinings Investment Properties Trust VIPPS

  • Washington Life Insurance Co. of America WLIA

  • Wi-Tron Inc. WTRO

  • Zone Mining Ltd. ZMNL

It was also said that questions have been raised about the accuracy and adequacy of publicly disseminated information concerning the companies' operating status.

Today's notice said:

Pump-and-dump schemes are among the most common types of fraud involving empty shell companies. Perpetrators will tout a thinly-traded microcap stock through false and misleading statements about the company to the marketplace. They purchase the stock at a low price before pumping the stock price higher by creating the appearance of market activity and drawing investor interest. They dump the stock for significant profit by selling it into the market at the higher price once investors have bought in.


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