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Apr 13

Recent SEC Trading suspensions of pump & dumps

I have been remiss in not posting much over the last months (and years!). While in 2016 I traded almost no pump and dumps because so few were successful and so few even had decent volume, 2017 has had several successful pumps and now several high-profile SEC trading suspensions of stocks in mid-pump. I look at these in reverse chronological order and then address common themes and what we can expect in the future.

Bingo Nation (BLTO)

Bingo Nation was a landing page pump: http://wallstreetblaze.com/blto/index.html (at the time I write this that page is still online). At its peak on April 11th ($3.10) it had a market capitalization of $85 million. Trading was suspended on April 12th, 2017.

Archived PDF copy of landing page

Excerpt from disclosure on landing page (emphasis mine):

The “Company” featured herein appears as paid advertising, paid by a third party to provide public awareness for (BLTO). The publisher, Wall Street Blaze, understands that in an effort to enhance public awareness of (BLTO) and its securities through the distribution of this online advertisement, Star Step Limited paid all of the costs associated with creating, and distribution of this advertisement. The publisher was paid the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars for its contributions. The marketing vendors will be managing a total budget of three hundred thousand dollars, provided by Star Step Limited for all online advertising and marketing efforts and will retain any amounts over and above the cost of production, copywriting services, mailing and other distribution expenses, as a fee for its services.

SEC trading suspension release (PDF)
SEC trading suspension order (PDF)

Reason for suspension (from above order):

concerns regarding (i) the accuracy and adequacy of publicly available information in the marketplace, including on Bingo Nation’s website and multiple third party promotional emails and articles relating to, among other things, the company’s existing capacity to generate near-term revenue provided on both Bingo Nation’s own website and, since at least March 20, 2017 through April 5, 2017, to multiple third party promotional emails and articles from different sources (at least one of which is also available on Bingo Nation’s own website); and (ii) potentially manipulative transactions in Bingo Nation’s common stock.

Bingo Nation will resume trading on April 28th on the grey market.

 

Emedia Group (EMMD)

eMedia was promoted via emails, primarily from QRC Investment Group. At its peak of $4.17 on March 24th, eMedia Group had a market cap of $83 million. Trading was suspended on April 4th, 2017 (also suspended at the same time were IMMG and EURI below).

SEC trading suspension release (PDF)
SEC trading suspension order (PDF)

Reason for suspension (from above order):

concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of assertions by EMMD in press releases to investors concerning the company’s assets and business operations and because of potentially manipulative transactions in EMMD’s common stock. Specifically, the company issued press releases dated February 13 and February 21, 2017 in which it described acquisitions by the company of a hotel-booking website portal and a flight- and hotel- booking mobile application.

eMedia Group will resume trading on April 19th on the grey market.

 

Immage Biotherapeutics (IMMG)

Immage Biotherapeutics (IMMG) was promoted via emails, primarily via QRC Investment Group. At its peak at $1.62 on April 3rd it had a market cap of $245 million.

SEC trading suspension release (PDF)
SEC trading suspension order (PDF)

Reason for suspension (from above order):

concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace and potentially manipulative transactions in IMMG’s common stock

 

AgriEuro Corp (EURI)

AgriEuro Corp had been promoted via emails in February and March 2017 and it was formerly a FinestPennyStocks pump and dump at the beginning of 2016. At its peak of $0.225 on March 21st it had a market cap of $57 million.

SEC trading suspension release (PDF)
SEC trading suspension order (PDF)

Reason for suspension (from above order):

concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace and potentially manipulative transactions in EURI’s common stock

 

George Sharp, anti-fraud pro-se legal gadfly (and former promoter himself), proposed that the reason for the suspensions of EMMD, IMMG, and EURI was that they all were connected at some point to attorney Scott Lawler. I am not convinced of that. That EMMD and IMMG were promoted by QRC Investment Group makes me think the SEC could be targeting that stock promoter. Of the suspended stocks, IMMG and EURI just received the boiler plate explanation for why they were halted. The EMMD halt order specifically mentions two of the company’s press releases and the BLTO halt order mentions the company’s revenue projections on its website. One thing is clear: the SEC is still active in fighting pump and dumps and those promoters and stocks that attract its attention have a significant risk of having trading in their shares suspended. The most prominent stock promotion is currently Zenosense (ZENO) so I think there is a decent chance it will be suspended.

 

Disclaimer. No position in any stocks mentioned and I have no relationship with anyone mentioned in this post. This blog has a terms of use that is incorporated by reference into this post; you can find all my disclaimers and disclosures there as well.

6 comments

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  1. Daniel

    Hello. Do You know something about ZENO ?. It was beautiful chart and I can’t find any info about pumping.

    1. Michael Goode

      ZENO is a pump but I haven’t seen the pump

  2. Robert Basha

    Thanks for putting this together MG! I would think that if you could get shares short, and hold through the halt, you could cover at a pretty low level.

    1. Michael Goode

      It is normal for big pumps that get a trading suspension to gap down 70% to 80% when they resume trading.

  3. Zak

    What’s the best way to approach these stocks in terms of shorting? How should one go about working into a short position? Get shares early and hold out till the end? Thanks

    1. Michael Goode

      SEC trading suspensions are not frequent enough to figure into a valid trade plan — you either short and hope to hold through any squeeze or wait for a squeeze and pray for shares to short.

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