Beware Oil & Gas Pump-And-Dump Stock Schemes

Started April 11, 2017 at 09:38 am by @Skip Peel - Independent Landman in GoHaynesvilleShale

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Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/11/17 09:38:08AM

This article brings back memories of past GHS discussions on the topic of pay to tout stock in energy companies.  The lure of quick profits investing in oil and gas plays hasn't gone out of style. Living in a part of the country where there has been over 100 years of continuous exploration and production, I've seen this before.  We seldom discuss company stocks and I think that is good but I also think it is worth the occasional mention of this pitfall for those who may be tempted to invest in the penny stocks of "oil companies".


Scammers Used SeekingAlpha for Bogus Stock Promotions, SEC Says

by Matt Robinson  April 10, 2017, 12:42 PM CDT

  • Regulator fines firms that made payments to article writers
  • Authors received compensation for publishing bullish research tries to ensure that research published on its popular investing website is unbiased by requiring writers to disclose whether they’ve been paid for touting stocks. But U.S. regulators say there’s an easy work around: lying.

On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued 27 individuals and companies for their involvement in hundreds of conflicted articles that appeared on SeekingAlpha and other sites. The authors checked a box that said they hadn’t been compensated, concealing the payments they’d received from stock promoters, the SEC said in a statement.

To hide their identities, writers used multiple pseudonyms, even creating separate personas who claimed to have 20 years of investing experience. At one promotion company, writers even signed a contract forbidding them from disclosing their compensation. SeekingAlpha wasn’t accused of any wrongdoing.

“These companies, promoters, and writers allegedly misled investors by disguising paid promotions as objective and independent analysis,” Stephanie Avakian, acting head of SEC enforcement said in the statement.

$3 Million Settlement

The SEC brought enforcement cases against three companies, seven firms involved in promoting stocks, two corporate chief executive officers, nine article writers and six other individuals. The regulator has agreed to some settlements, with one individual accused of violating securities laws paying almost $3 million.

The alleged improper conduct ended in 2014, legal orders filed by the SEC show. In 2012, SeekingAlpha barred the publication of articles for which writers had received compensation, according to the SEC.

“Our system documents all authors’ claims to not having been compensated by third parties, and we maintain accurate records of all SeekingAlpha authors’ real-life identities,” SeekingAlpha Managing Editor Mike Taylor said in an emailed statement.

Promoting stocks is a hallmark of pump-and-dump schemes. The scam typically involves insiders buying shares for fractions of a cent, blasting out positive investment “analysis” to increase prices and then cashing in by selling shares.

Kathy M. Stephens
04/11/17 10:30:42AM @kathy-m-stephens:

You are right Skip.  I remember the presentation GMX put out about "deep oil" in the Norphlet in Harrison County.  GMX is now gone. Kathy

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/11/17 10:40:16AM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

Ah, yes I remember, Kathy.  There was a lot of contention over that rumor.  The one that got the most debate and lasted quite a long time was Mainland Resources.  Those of us here in Shreveport remember PetroSun, a one time Independence Bowl sponsor, and Black Dragon.  Now we are waiting to see if Australis Oil & Gas falls into that category.  I hope not, the TMS needs some company to believe in the play.

04/11/17 01:52:35PM @jay6:

The TMS needs an oil price increase for the play to work.  As in, above $80 bux.  I don't know what, short of the next Middle East blowup, can make that happen.


Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/11/17 02:51:38PM @skip-peel-independent-landman:





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