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J.B. Oxford Terminates Relationship With Kott

September 18, 1997|TOM PETRUNO

J.B. Oxford Holdings Inc., the Beverly Hills brokerage firm, said Wednesday that it has terminated its consulting relationship with Irving Kott, a controversial figure who has had several run-ins with securities regulators and is the apparent target of a new federal probe. The company's chief executive, Stephen Rubenstein, said in a statement that J.B. Oxford's board of directors and Kott's consulting firm, Turret Consultants Inc., have "mutually agreed to terminate their ad hoc consulting relationship immediately."

J.B. Oxford's offices in Beverly Hills and Basel, Switzerland, were raided by the FBI and by Swiss authorities, respectively, on Aug. 19. Documents were seized but no arrests were made. Authorities have refused to comment on the reason for the raid, but sources say the probe centers on Kott and potential stock manipulation.

Kott, once well-known as a stock promoter, has paid large fines in Canada and the Netherlands to settle securities fraud charges. He has been associated with J.B. Oxford since 1993, although the company has insisted his role has been as a consultant.

Asked whether Kott also has an ownership stake in the firm, a J.B. Oxford spokesman declined to comment, citing the federal probe.

J.B. Oxford also said Wednesday that it will hire an independent firm to review its operating procedures. The brokerage's shares rose 22 cents to $1.16 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

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