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Securities Fraud

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BUSINESS
April 10, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it had stopped a $29.5-million severance package from being paid to Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc.'s former chief executive, who was charged with securities fraud. The agency said Wednesday that it stopped the payment from the Los Angeles company to Henry Yuen through a provision in the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law. The provision lets the SEC seek a temporary order from a federal district court requiring a company to hold "extraordinary payments" likely to be made to any officer or affiliate of the company charged with violating securities laws.
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BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Activist investor Bill Ackman is partnering with Valeant Pharmaceuticals in an attempt to buy Orange County pharmaceutical company Allergan Inc., which sells the popular wrinkle treatment Botox. Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management said in a public filing on Monday that it was partnering with Valeant to acquire shares of Allergan. Pershing Square and Valeant agreed to the partnership on Feb. 25, Ackman said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Valeant said in a statement that it believed a partnership with Allergan would be best for both companies.
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BUSINESS
December 31, 1999 | From Reuters
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that it has charged two executives of American Telephone & Telecommunications Corp. with fraud for selling securities in the firm that purportedly was set up to offer long-distance telephone service via the Internet. The company is not related to telecommunications giant AT&T Corp.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
A San Francisco man pleaded guilty to a single count of securities fraud Monday related to the 2009 acquisition of Marvel Entertainment by Walt Disney Co, federal authorities said.  The announcement by the U.S. attorney's office for the Central District of California caps the criminal case against Toby G. Scammell, a Bay Area man who had been accused of insider trading. A civil action by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began with an insider trading charge in 2011; a judgment was issued in that case last month.    The SEC ordered Scammell to disgorge his trading profits and pay interest and civil penalties totaling $800,985.
BUSINESS
February 8, 1989 | From Associated Press
A judge temporarily barred a national penny-stock brokerage house from soliciting new business in New York state Tuesday after the state attorney general said there was evidence that it had defrauded millions of dollars from thousands of investors. Atty. Gen. Robert Abrams said records showed that Power Securities Corp. of Las Vegas participated in "a massive fraud and swindle" that involved manipulating stock prices, creating artificial markets and marking up stock prices by 100% or more.
BUSINESS
October 3, 2000 | E. SCOTT RECKARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Former Lincoln Savings & Loan boss Charles H. Keating Jr. won a final victory Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court, defeating attempts to reinstate his 1991 state court conviction on charges of swindling elderly investors. Without comment, the high court refused to reopen the case, leaving intact lower court rulings that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito had allowed a flawed prosecution.
BUSINESS
July 24, 1996 | SCOT J. PALTROW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Internal Revenue Service ruling, vindicating a municipal bond market whistle-blower, means that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and more than 100 local agencies nationwide will have to pay the federal government as much as $2.5 billion within a year or risk even more dire consequences.
BUSINESS
March 7, 1996 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hawaii state prosecutors said Wednesday they are investigating an Orange County company to determine if its sales of how-to kits to would-be travel agents constitute an illegal pyramid scheme. In addition, World Class Network in Irvine faces a securities probe by another Hawaii agency to determine if it is selling unregistered securities in the form of distributorships.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Illinois with securities fraud, accusing the state of misleading municipal investors over pension fund obligations, the regulatory agency said Monday. An investigation determined the state failed to inform investors about the impact of problems with its pension funding schedule, the agency said. Between 2005 and 2009, Illinois sold more than $2.2 billion in municipal bonds but neglected to tell investors that pension obligations were underfunded, the agency said.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
A California man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of securities fraud in connection with the Walt Disney Co.'s $4-billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. Toby G. Scammell, 28, allegedly learned confidential details of the planned transaction from his girlfriend, who had been working on a six-month externship in Disney's corporate strategy department in the months leading up to the deal.  The indictment alleges Scammell acquired call options in Marvel, based on non-public information he had gleaned that Disney planned to offer about $50 a share to buy the comic book publisher.
OPINION
March 7, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
For more than a quarter of a century, investors have been able to bring class-action lawsuits against companies that have fraudulently inflated their stock prices without having to prove that each buyer of the stock had been individually duped. Now, industrial giant Halliburton Co. is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to make such lawsuits significantly harder, if not impossible, to bring. That would be a fantastic result for publicly traded companies, but a terrible one for the average investor.
BUSINESS
February 6, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Federal regulators are investigating for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges Inc. for falsifying job-placement rates, adding to at least a dozen other state and federal investigations into the company's business practices, Corinthian disclosed in an earnings statement Wednesday.  The Santa Ana company also said that the Department of Education has denied approval for new programs and locations until it provides more information on its students...
BUSINESS
December 23, 2013 | Marc Lifsher
Employers, especially owners of small businesses, are about to see increases in their workers' compensation insurance bills. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones looked at the $14-billion-a-year market and advised that premium increases of 6.7% would not be out of line for policies that take effect after Jan. 1. The state's largest carrier, the government-run State Compensation Insurance Fund, plans to raise its rates roughly 6.5% beginning in March....
BUSINESS
November 8, 2013 | Times wire services
SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges Friday, satisfying a deal with the government that requires the Connecticut hedge fund to pay a record $1.8 billion to settle charges that it allowed, if not encouraged, insider trading to occur for more than a decade. The plea came in U.S. District Court in New York four days after the government announced that the once-influential hedge fund owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen had reached the deal that also required it to shut down its operations to outside investors.
OPINION
October 30, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
JPMorgan Chase is trying to reach a multibillion-dollar deal with the federal government to settle allegations of securities fraud - based largely on claims against two failing banks it rescued during the crisis at Washington's behest. The settlement apparently hinges on whether JPMorgan will be allowed to tap a government fund to cover some of the cost of the government's claims. If so, that would be a truly perverse outcome. The government's case stems from the sale of mortgage-backed securities - bundles of home loans that lenders didn't want to keep on their books - that failed spectacularly after the housing bubble burst.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
A Riverside County Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced a man to 15 years in state prison and ordered him to pay $12.6 million in restitution to victims of a real estate Ponzi scheme he operated. Ralph John Solis, 56, of Hemet pleaded guilty July 24 to four counts of grand theft, operating a business for the purpose of committing securities fraud, authorities said. He also received a sentencing enhancement of aggravated white collar crime. Between 2007 and 2009, Solis operated a real estate Ponzi scheme in which he sold forged first and second trust deeds to investors, according to Riverside County prosecutors.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
The boyfriend of an assistant to a top Walt Disney Co. executive pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud in federal court in New York in an insider trading scheme that garnered notoriety for its lack of sophistication. Yonni Sebbag was arrested in May along with Bonnie Hoxie, a former aide to Zenia Mucha, the head of corporate communications for Disney. Both were charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud by selling inside information to investment companies.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- The federal government has launched a rare criminal prosecution of a major Wall Street firm: SAC Capital Advisors, a hedge-fund operator that investigators have long suspected of illegally trading on inside information. U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, announced the grand jury's indictment of SAC Capital on Thursday. The indictment, which names SAC Capital and related entities, alleges one count of wire fraud and four counts of securities fraud.
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