Burr & Forman

04.9.2020   |   Blog Articles, Securities Litigation

SEC Suspends Trading in 7 OTC Stocks in 4 Days Over COVID Claims

In the past week, the Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading in five separate over-the-counter (“OTC”) stocks due to dubious COVID claims or related identity confusion.

The latest order came Thursday, April 9, when the SEC suspended trading in Turbo Global Partners, Inc. over claimed ability to provide non-contact testing equipment.

On Wednesday, April 8, when the SEC suspending trading in BioELife Corp. f/k/a US Lithium Corp. (“LITH”) over claimed production of a COVID-19 prevention product line, coupled with manipulative trading indicia.

On Tuesday, April 7, the SEC suspended trading in:

  • Prestige Capital Corp., over possible confusion with the large N95-mask manufacturer Prestige Ameritech, Ltd.
  • Key Capital Corp., for questionable statements concerning development, testing, and marketing of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Wellness Matrix Group, Inc. (“WMGR”) for questionable statements about selling at-home FDA-approved COVID-19 test kits.

On Monday, April 6, the SEC suspended trading in:

  • No Borders, Inc.  (“NBDR”) for statements about COVID-19 testing kits and personal-protective equipment; and,
  • Sandy Steele Unlimited Inc. for emails flacking its unverified ability to produce protective masks, in the face of “substantial concentrated selling … by offshore accounts.”

Earlier, on March 25, the SEC suspended trading in Praxsyn Corp. (“PXYN”), over unverified claims of having large quantities of N-95 masks, and in Beijing-based Zoom Technologies, Inc. over potential confusion with the NASDAQ-listed online-video-conferencing provider.

In each case, the SEC used its authority to suspend trading in any stock for up to 10 trading days upon a finding that the halt was necessary in the public interest and for the protection of investors.

By now, issuers should be aware that the SEC, Department of Justice and other regulators have ramped up their scrutiny of COVID-related claims and will not hesitate to take corrective action, including prosecution.

The Orders can be found here.

Thomas K. Potter, III (tpotter@burr.com) is a partner in the Securities Litigation Practice Group at Burr & Forman, LLP. Tom is licensed in Tennessee, Texas, and Louisiana. He has over 34 years of experience representing financial institutions in litigation, regulatory and compliance matters. See attorney profile.

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