On February 26, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint charging Robert Crane, a former registered representative, with manipulating the market in two penny stocks-Argentex Mining Corporation and ERHC Energy Inc. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered the judgment to which Crane consented on March 4, 2013
The Commission’s settled action, filed in federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleges that Crane executed six wash sales in June 2010 to create the false appearance of an active and liquid market for two securities. He placed his orders through the Internet for trades in three accounts at two brokerage firms. His trades resulted in no change of beneficial ownership in the stock he already owned. However, Crane did not profit from his scheme.
The complaint alleges violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and the Court’s order permanently enjoins Crane from violating those laws. The Court’s order also provides for a penny stock bar against Crane. The Commission did not seek a penalty against Crane due to his sworn representations concerning his financial condition.
Posted in SEC Litigation News