Last month we shared information on the blog about spam-driven affiliate programs who were selling a variety of shady “anti-Coronavirus” products, including immunity oils, masks, disinfectants, and no-touch thermometers. (See: CAUCE Spamfighters Rally Against Corona Health Fraud Affiliate programs
). Today I wanted to share an update regarding another type of spam and the SEC’s actions related to stock market symbols being manipulated through “pump-n-dump” scams.
Over the past several weeks, the SEC announced the suspension of trading of several stock symbols due to illegal attempts to manipulate the value of those stocks, often by driving the stock value up (“pumping”) by making untrue claims about how the company was involved in helping fight the Coronavirus, Covid19. We’ll just dive into two of the most recent ones here.
Turbo Global Partners, Inc (“TRBO”)
On April 9, 2020, the SEC suspended trading of Turbo Global Partners, Inc (“TRBO”)
, a company based in Tampa, Florida. The suspension is due to claims made by the company that it had entered into agreement with BeMotino, Inc to provide non-contact human temperature screening and facial recognition technology, and that it had the ability to ship the technology to customers within five days of receiving an order. Press Releases on March 30th and April 3rd made these claims.
The small spike to .0074 cents per share on February 7th corresponded with the announcement that the company was doing a pilot to place indoor digital billboards in 100 pharmacies in Florida in 2020 with aggressive expansion predicted:
Singerman continues, “BeMotion’s Mobile Commerce Network ‘MCN’ and the DCN Vending & Marketplace ‘DCN-V’ is the solution we are bringing to the global market under our joint TURBO – BeMotion brand. Our initial effort will be integrating both MCN and DCN-V technologies into our independent pharmacy silo in 3 Phases of our 2020 Strategic and Tactical Plan:
“Phase 1: Integrating our Co-Brand Solutions into our 100-Pilot pharmacy locations in Florida to be deployed during Quarter 2, 2020.
“Phase 2: Deploying the DCN Vending into 1,000+ pharmacy locations in the U.S. deployed with the TURBO – BeMotion Co-Brand by 2021.
“Phase 3: Deploying the DCN Vending into 5,000+ pharmacy locations by 2023.”
On March 14th someone buys nearly 120 million shares of the company for between .0016 and .0055 cents per share. Then this press release is splashed around the Internet in penny stock forums and “investor tip” messages:
The company that was previously saying it was a marketing company selling indoor billboards is suddenly selling “non-contact human body scanning technology” that can scan “up to 320 people per minute” saying “Imagine Law Enforcement with our Technology version for vehicles being able to scan like RADAR a cluster of people or a homeless encampment in minutes for elevated temperatures.” and that “THIS IS THE KEY TOOL … THAT CAN HELP BREAK THE CHAIN OF VIRUS TRANSMISSION.”
If we guess that the average purchase price for that stock was .003 cents per share, immediately after this press release, the stock booms to six times that value. The investors who are “in on the deal” and bought 120 million shares on March 16th to March 18th and sold on April 4th and 5th would have paid around $360,000 and sold for right at $2 Million. This is how Stock Pump n Dump works.
Where did that garish and false ad come from? This copy was posted in an investment board run by “SHEEPWOLF”
But was Sheepwolf heavily pushing this stock? Let’s look at his recent posts on the site:
Do you get the feeling that SHEEPWOLF really wants the value of $TRBO to increase? Hmmm… I wonder why. Between March 27, 2020 and April 7, 2020, SHEEPWOLF posted EIGHTY-ONE MESSAGES about this stock!
There was a clear change in marketing via Press Releases that occurred beginning March 13th, according to OTC Markets:
And that was just ONE of the recent SEC Suspensions. If you have more information about this case, please contact Justin Jeffries, Associate Regional Director for the SEC, at (404) 842-5750.
BioELife Corp f/k/a U.S. Lithium Corp (“LITH”)
On April 8, 2020, the SEC suspended trading of BioELife Corp f/k/a U.S. Lithium Corp (“LITH”). The SEC has “questions and concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of publicly available information concerning LITH, including public statements made by LITH in press releases issued on March 12, 2020 and March 16, 2020 and reinforced by third-party stock promoters, regarding a purported new Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention Products Line, together with potentially manipulative trading activity between October 2019 and present.”
That is certainly an understatement! Let’s look at the recent press releases, indicating that BioELife had a sudden change in product direction, from selling CBD Pain treatments, to suddenly preventing the spread in CoronaVirus.
Some of those recent statements were things like this:
The initial purchase order from Group Buying Club- GPOCBD, covers all current BioELife products – lotions, tinctures, flower and gummies as well as the BioEDefense product line: Sanitizers, RespiPro Virus Killer Masks, and the R-Shield (a reusable nanofiber scarf designed for 50 wash cycles). GPOCBD is marketing CBD products directly to wholesalers, consumers and affiliates looking to supplement their sales of BioELife products which offer natural products to fight pain and infection, as well as help defend against the growing global concerns regarding bacteria and virus’s contamination.
That’s funny. Respilon R Shield is a Czech mask created for fighting smog and marketed primarily through their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/respilon_r_shield/
. They have converted Czech prisons into mask factories
, because it seems the masks are in high demand. Definitely a more “Lit” mask than most people are wearing these days. But since they are still in KickStarter mode, I don’t think there is much chance that US Lithium is involved with them. I don’t believe they are at any way to fault for $LITH’s bad marketing!
Here’s an example of how these press releases are then turned into “BUZZ” by newsletters, such as this one from “Make Penny Stocks Great Again” one of many such services that provide “free” newsletters to people who are trying to make a quick buck daytrading.
Ooh! CBD-fortified hand-sanitizer! Where do I sign up?
If anyone has more information about the $LITH pump, “they should immediately contact Celeste A. Chase, Assistant Regional Director, at (212) 336-0049, or Jason R. Berkowitz, Assistant Regional Director, at (305) 982-6309.” (from: https://www.sec.gov/litigation/suspensions/2020/34-88607.pdf )
Spotting the Scammers
There are some members of these “stock promotion” investor boards that try to warn others. My favorite right now is “reverse_long” who shares information about stocks that are in “PAID PUMP N DUMP” scams … I love the tagline he uses on his profile! “Shorting Paid Pump and Dumps to Make The World A Better Place” (He also has a great Twitter feed: @reverse_long
And, sure enough, one of the 80 Paid Pump And Dump scams he has been warning his fellow investors about was $LITH:
Which was also on his Twitter feed back on March 4th:
Honestly, I believe if we wanted to find more of these, it would probably be as easy as doing this Google Search:
site:www.otcmarkets.com inurl:news inurl:stock COVID-19
Then I would take the resulting symbols and check them against these bogus stock promoter sites. Let me assure you there are some DOOZIES in there! But subscribing to many of these Stock Tip Newsletters might be another way to do so.
Other SEC Actions
(Quoting from the SEC Suspension Orders, linked to each company’s name below: )
Feb 7, 2020 = $AEMD
– Aethlon Medical
– Concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace since at least January 22, 2020 that appears to be disseminated by third party promoters that are purportedly not affiliated with AEMD about, among other things the viability of the company’s products to treat the coronavirus.
Feb 24, 2020 = $ETBI
– Eastgate Biotech Corp
– Concerns about the adequacy and reliability of publicy available information concerning ETBI since at least January 30, 2020, among other things, statements about the company’s purported international marketing rights to an approved coronavirus treatment to potentially combat the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Mar 25, 2020 – $ZOOM
– Zoom Technologies, Inc
– This one seems to be because of the name confusion of their stock symbol and the “similarly-named NASDAQ-listed” video conferencing company.
Mar 25, 2020 – $PXYN
– Praxsyn Corporation
– Questions regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace since at least February 27, 2020. Statements about PXYN having and being able to obtain large quantities of N95 masks used to protect wearers from COVID-19.
One of the places $PXYN was being pumped was “Investors Hangout” … “hotforpenny” was pumping the Corona run, but a review of messages shows that the company had been pumped before as a medical marijuana company in 2018:
HotforPenny also participates on “Sheepwolf’s 1,000,000.00 Journey” that was referenced above. He’s currently pumping (excuse me, “discussing”) $GRYN, $SING, $BCCI, $BTFH, $AYTU, $BWVI, and $RJDG …
April 3, 2020 – $NBDR
– No Borders, Inc
– Questions and concerns regarding the adequacy and accuracy of publicly available information concerning NBDR. STatements about NBDR’s products and business activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including NBDR’s COVID-19 specimen collection kits
, an agreement to bring COVID-19 test kits
to the United States, and NBDR’s activities related to the distribution of personal protective equipment.
April 3, 2020 – $SSTU
– Sandy Steele Unlimited Inc
– questions regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace since at least March, 2020. Those questions relate to apparent promotional activity, including e-mail stock promotions
from unknown sources directed to investors, which claim that Sandy Steele is an operational garment manufacturer producing various clothing items and that it has the ability to produce protective masks
that are in high demand due to the COVID-19 crisis.
April 7, 2020 – $WMGR
– Wellness Matrix Group, Inc
– questions regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace since at least March 19, 2020. Those questions relate to statements WMGR made through affiliated websites
and a company consultant about selling at-home COVID-19 testing kits that had been approved by the FDA.
Ten months ago, they named a new VP of marketing (David Saltrelli) and a new president (Joshua Patterson) and a change in direction – developing “technologically advanced health care models in a Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Creative Artificial Intelligence Platform.” Kind of a jump from their origins as Fuhuiyuan International Holdings, which was mostly a real estate management company working with KWest Alberta in Canada. When you issue 190,000,000 shares of stock to be valued at $0.0001 each and switch from real estate to Artificial Intelligence Health Care, something odd may be afoot.
April 7, 2020 – $PGEC
– Prestige Capital Corp.
– concerns about the adequacy and accuracy of publicly available information concerning PGEC, including its financial condition and its operations, if any, in light of concerns about investors confusing this issuer with a similarly-named private company that is a manufacturer of N95 masks
and the subject of increased media attention during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
April 7, 2020 – $KCPC
– Key Capital Corporation
– questions regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace since at least March 5, 2020. Those questions relate to statements KCPC made about developing, and being able to make available to the mass market within three to six months, a vaccine to treat COVID-19
in press releases issued by the Company on March 5, 2020 and March 10, 2020.
Another company with a very interesting change in focus. Recently this was a company who had announced a “Unique Digital Gold Standard Cryptocurrency” … and now they have a vaccine for Corona?
Quite a change from being the gold mining company behind the GoldCrypto ICO!