Update: As expected, this is a hoax. Someone is very pissed with the Muddy Waters boys.
Instead of taking another long hard look at its own practices, following the blow up of the biggest ponzi scheme since Madoff, the SEC has decided to instead target.... Carson Block and Muddy Waters. "The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Carson Block and Muddy Waters LLC in a stock manipulation ring that allegedly published false information, causing a drop in the market prices of at least three stocks and generated more than $240.2 million in illicit profits when they sold shares short then repurchased the shares after a significant decline on the market." Bottom line - in Communist Amerika, if you publish research that is proven true, and profit on it, you are a criminal. That said, there is a chance this could be a hoax as it is only hosted by Briefing Wire, so take it with a pinch of salt: it very well could be the work product of a former buy or sell-side Chinese forest "analyst" with a lot of free time on their hands.
From Briefing Wire:
Litigation Release No. 21053
The SEC alleges that Carson Block, who resides in Hong Kong carried out the market manipulation schemes with others he met through a stock web site, which is operated by Matthew Brown of Aliso Viejo, Calif. Block, Brown, and other participants in the schemes often timed the manipulative trading to coincide with false or misleading press releases issued by Muddy Waters LLC. The three companies were Sino Forest Corporation, Duoyuan Global Water Inc., and Orient Paper Inc.
“As we allege in our complaint, Carson Block and his accomplices around the country met through the Internet and planned to short sell the stock in the companies prior to release of the Muddy Waters Report that made allegations of impropriety, fraud, and theft. Carson Block and his associates approaches several large hedge funds and investment firms first to market their “research” and promised great returns upon the release of their “research”. The results for each of the companies that were targeted were catastrophic and have resulted in a serious loss of market value and public trust in the management of these companies. ,” said Scott Friestad, Deputy Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Carson Block went so far as to himself write some of the misleading press releases that denigrated these stocks so they could line their own pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in Delaware, charges six others in addition to Carson Block:
According to the SEC’s complaint, these fraudulent schemes generally followed the same pattern. In 2010, Carson Block and his accomplices arranged for large blocks of shares to sell on the open market. The vast majority of the shares sold short were done through the accounts of Muddy Waters LLC for the personal benefit of Carson Block. The defendants then notified the hedge funds and investment firms of their intention to publish their report and were paid approximately $2.7 million dollars for “research” supplied by Muddy Waters LLC. As a result shares were sold short in the days immediately prior to the release. After artificially deflating the market price of the stocks, Carson Block and his accomplices then recovered the shares the sold short on the open markets and collected the illicit proceeds.
The SEC’s complaint alleges violations of the antifraud, registration, and other provisions of the federal securities laws. The complaint seeks to have the court permanently enjoin each defendant from future violations, require disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and impose financial penalties. Additionally, the Commission seeks to have certain defendants barred from participating in stock offerings.
Complete article available at SEC newswire.