Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses as a result of a securities fraud related to scalping. Scalping occurs when a broker or financial advisor recommends a security and immediately sells the security to turn a profit. According to securities arbitration lawyers, when many investors purchase the security, the price rises, allowing the fraudster to gain financially.
In one recent scalping scheme, securities fraud charges were filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) against John Babikian, the promoter behind AwesomePennyStocks.com and PennyStocksUniverse.com. Both websites are affiliated microcap stock promotion websites and are known collectively as “ABS.” The SEC charges allege that Babikian engaged in scalping through the websites.
According to the SEC, on February 23, 2012, the websites sent emails to around 700,000 people, recommending investing in a particular penny stock, America West Resources Inc. (AWSRQ). However, the fact that Babikian held over 1.4 million shares of America West was not disclosed in the email, nor was the fact that he had positioned the shares for immediate sale via a Swiss bank.