Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pet Company Name Change to Include "Blockchain" - Stock Soars

According to a report at, a company known for having a veterinary products patent and developing new ways to test for disease changed its name to Riot Blockchain, and watched its stock soar from $8 per share to $40 per share.

The article is here. If the story is true it would be additional evidence of the cryptocurrency craze being real, and a significant problem for some investors. While it appears that the company did in purchase some mining equipment after the name change, it certainly wasn't in the cryptocurrency business, if the CNBC article is correct.

Which of course means that its new shareholders bought shares in a company based on nothing. Add to this allegations that a major shareholder sold as the stock price was rising and the issuance of additional shares around the same time, and you have an interesting series of events which could lead to significant shareholder losses.

Public company changes name to Riot Blockchain,


Mark Astarita is a securities attorney with 30 years of national experience representing investors, funds and securities professionals in securities and computer fraud litigation . If you have experienced losses in cryptocurrency related investments, give him a call at 212-509-6544.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Stock Market Got You Confused? 13 Questions and Answers

The stock market was down, way down, see-sawing, way up, topsy turvy, way down and then up again last week.

Stock futures were rising Monday morning.

You probably have a ton of questions.

From CNN.

Deutsche Bank To Pay About $4.4 Mln To Settle SEC Charge It Misled Consumers -

Deutsche Bank To Pay About $4.4 Mln To Settle SEC Charge It Misled Consumers -
Deutsche Bank AG ( DB ) agreed to pay more than $4.4 million to settle regulatory claims that it failed to supervise traders who misled customers about the price of commercial mortgage bonds. The Securities and Exchange Commission said it instituted an enforcement action against Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., which has agreed to repay more than $3.7 million to customers, which includes $1.48 million that was ordered as disgorgement.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Securities Regulation Insititute's Need to Know Cases

From Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation:

"A panel of the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law Securities Regulation Institute gave an info-packed update on important litigation developments from the past year, including a clarification on insider trading, a new limit on the ability of the SEC to seek disgorgement in enforcement actions, and a lack of resolution on conflicting disclosure requirements."

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SEC Freezes ICO Assets

SEC halts one of the largest 'ICOs' ever as it wades deeper into the murky world of cryptocurrency offerings U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announces it has obtained a court order to halt and freeze the assets of AriseBank's initial coin offering.

How Long Does an SEC Investigation Take?

One of the first questions my clients ask when faced with a subpoena from the SEC is how long is this going to take? The answer is not simple, but start here: How Long Does an SEC Investigation Take? |

Monday, January 29, 2018

The SEC's Unconstitutional Hearing Process - Will the Supremes Fix It?

We have addressed the bizarre, and unconstitutional situation in SEC administrative proceedings, where the Commission files a complaint, appoints the "prosecutor" and the judge, and creates the rules under which the trial will be held. It is a process that is unfair on its face. The situation creates real-life kangeroo courts, where the rules of evidence are tossed out the window, the SEC staff can put in any "evidence" it wants, including double and triple hearsay - witnesses testifying that someone told them that someone else said that the broker said something. Bizarre, unconstitutional, and terrifying if you are the defendant.

The situation is made worse by the fact that the SEC appointed some of its in-house judges in violation of the United States Consitution, causing further constitutional issues, and causing many respondents to challenge the process, and seek to overturn the decisions of these judges.

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to address the appointment issue in Lucia v. SEC.  If the court should find in favor of  Lucia, the decision could affect more than 100 pending cases to appear before administrative law judges and those which have already been decided.

The SEC is clearly concerned about the case, and has attempted to "reappoint" its judges, and to order them to accept new evidence in the cases which have been started, or which are on appeal.

The fact that the Supreme Court sees an issue with how administrative law judges have been hired means the methods might not be constitutional and their rulings might not be valid.

In the interim, hundreds of cases are being reconsidered, and may be dismissed.

See, Supreme Court review will bolster fairness of SEC's in-house judges

Mark J. Astarita, Esq. represents a financial professional in one of these administrative proceedings, which is now on appeal, and being reconsidered. He is a partner in the national securities law firm of Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC and can be reached by email at or by phone at 212-509-6544. 

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Investigation - Cali Muni Offerings

The SEC is investigating "certain market practices" by participants in municipal securities transactions, according to the California treasurer’s office. More.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Davos: Bitcoin is not a currency

Davos: Bitcoin is not a currency - Jan. 26, 2018: "Davos is clear on bitcoin: It's an interesting investment, but please don't call it a currency."

Plus, a discussion of the latest hack on a cryptocurrency exchange.