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I was reading this official SEC press release: SEC Microcap Fraud-Fighting Initiative Expels 379 Dormant Shell Companies to Protect Investors From Potential Scams. Excerpt:

The existence of empty shell companies can be a financial boon to stock manipulators who will pay as much as $750,000 to assume control of the company in order to pump and dump the stock for illegal proceeds to the detriment of investors. [...]

From my observations, microcaps traded on over-the-counter markets are mostly illiquid. Empty shell companies are likely to be even more illiquid than other microcaps. How do these stock manipulators manage to assume control of these dormant shell companies if (a) the shares are illiquid, and (b) the company is dormant?

I don't understand how stock manipulators manage to acquire controlling stakes in the dormant shells when there are almost no shares available on the market.

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don't understand how stock manipulators manage to acquire controlling stakes in the dormant shells when there are almost no shares available on the market.

There are shares in the market that the original fraudulent owners have not listed for sale and hence trade in low volume to show some activity... the new fraudulent owners would identify such entities... most likely by some illegal means strike a deal with original owners and buy them...

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