The SEC recently charged a pair of pump-and-dumpers whose worst offense might be their poor impersonation of a stockbroker.
The defendants in the case faxed handwritten stock tips, ostensibly from a financial advisor to his client (“Dr. Mitchel”), to “more than one million recipients across the country,” according to the SEC complaint. There were four versions of the fax, hyping pink sheet stocks AVL Global Inc., Data Evolutions Holdings Inc., Infinium Labs Inc. and Soleil Film.
“We need to buy AVLL now,” says the first of the four faxes, which went out to 153,000 fax machines. It went on to promise that AVLL will “tripple [sic] in price just like the last stock I gave you ‘SIRI’ did.”
When AVLL rose, the alleged stock scammer, Joshua Yafa, sold his shares, “yielding gross proceeds of several hundred thousand dollars,” the SEC alleges.
The letter signs off urging the fictional client, “You better be good to me at Christmas. No other broker has given you back to back wins [sic].”
What does it say about the industry that enough investors believed this was real, driving the stock price up?