The SEC charged an individual and his investment advisory firm for a manipulative press release that drove up the price of Barnes & Noble stock. The agency also charged two Philadelphia-area men and their investment advisory firm for defrauding friends and family in a private equity fund they managed, and a consultant and his friend for insider trading prior to P.F. Chang’s impending acquisition.
Individual, Advisory Firm Charged by SEC for Manipulative Press Release
You can’t believe everything you read — especially if it’s a press release offering to buy a majority stake in a company.
That’s how it turned out for Barnes & Noble stockholders after Michael Glickstein and his New York-based investment advisory firm G Asset Management LLC issued a misleading press release on Feb. 21, 2014, that announced their offer to purchase a majority stake in the bookseller for $22 per share. In a matter of seconds after the announcement, Barnes & Noble’s stock price rose from $17.05 per share to $18.99 per share, causing the New York Stock Exchange to temporarily halt trading in the stock.
According to the SEC, which charged Glickstein and his firm with fraud, not only did G Asset have no ability to finance its phony offer to purchase Barnes & Noble and no reasonable basis to believe it could do so in the future, but G Asset had also recently bought thousands of Barnes & Noble shares and short-term call options, intending to profit by selling the shares and options after issuing the press release — which it did, to the tune of some $168,000.
G Asset and Glickstein have agreed to settle the charges with the SEC without admitting or denying wrongdoing. Glickstein and his firm consented to a settlement that requires them to return $175,000 of allegedly ill-gotten gains and interest. G Asset also agreed to be censured, and Glickstein agreed to pay a civil penalty of $100,000 and be barred from the securities industry for a minimum of five years.
SEC Charges Two With Bilking Friends and Family
Two Philadelphia-area men and their investment advisory firm have agreed to settle SEC charges that they defrauded investors in a private equity fund they managed.