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Jun 18, 2012

SEC | Enforcement Actions: SEC v. Clements, Civil Action No. 11-60673-CIV-DIMITROULEAS/SNOW


Litigation Release No. 22395 / June 18, 2012


SEC v. Clements, Civil Action No. 11-60673-CIV-DIMITROULEAS/SNOW

The Commission announced that on May 21, 2012, a District Judge in the Southern District of Florida entered Final Judgments Ordering Disgorgement, Prejudgment Interest and a Civil Penalty against Defendants James Clements and Zeina Smidi. Pursuant to Section 20(d) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and Section 21(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas ordered Defendant Clements to pay disgorgement of $339,451, prejudgment interest of $88,975.66, and a civil penalty of $339,451, and ordered Defendant Smidi to pay disgorgement of $2,492,000, prejudgment interest of $611,837.60, and a civil penalty of $2,492,000. 

The District Court previously entered by consent permanent injunctions against Clements and Smidi on February 6 and 17, 2012. The permanent injunctions enjoined Clements from future violations of Securities Act Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a), and Exchange Act Sections 10(b), 15(a), and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, and enjoined Smidi from future violations of Exchange Act Section 10(b), and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5. Clements and Smidi neither admitted nor denied the allegations of the complaint in their consents. 

The Commission filed a complaint against Clements and Smidi on March 30, 2011, alleging they operated a Ponzi scheme that offered investors guaranteed monthly returns. The Defendants first told investors they would use investor proceeds to trade in foreign currencies and later stated they would use proceeds to invest in Swiss high-yield, fixed-rate savings accounts. In reality, however, Clements and Smidi siphoned approximately $3 million of investors’ money to their personal bank accounts, and paid out approximately $3 million for travel, expenses, and luxury items.
For more information on earlier actions in this case, see Litigation Release No. 21910 (Mar. 30, 2011).

NYT Global Update: No Relief Rally on Greek Vote - Business

Global Update

Egypt's Military Softens Tone as Vote Count Favors Islamist

The ruling generals entered talks over the balance of power, but did not mention election results that showed the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi, as the presidential victor.

After Greek Vote, Europe Still Has a Host of Problems

As the euro zone dodged one minefield, it faced the larger question of whether European leaders could find a more lasting solution to an economic debacle now well into its third year.

Russian Warships Said to Be Going to Naval Base in Syria

A Russian news agency said on Monday that two naval vessels with marines on board are ready to head for Syria to protect Russian citizens and a naval base.

Video: TimesCast

Greek voters give victory to pro-euro party that supports the economic bailout, and Egyptians elect an Islamist in their first competitive presidential election.

Op-Ed Contributor

Earth Agonistes

Our generation is the first to understand the risks facing humanity. At Rio +20 world leaders must act decisively.

Defense Minister New Heir to Throne in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was officially named crown prince on Monday, and will keep his job as defense minister.

Green Movement Takes Root in Malaysia

A rare earth metals refinery outside a coastal town has provoked an unprecedented outcry by evironmental activists that has encouraged residents elsewhere to rally against similar projects.

Senior Commander in South Yemen Is Assassinated

An important commander in Yemen was killed Monday in the southern port city of Aden days after the government announced a major military victory over Al Qaeda militants.

No Relief Rally on Greek Vote

Borrowing costs in Spain and Italy reminded investors that the troubles facing the euro zone were far from resolved. On Wall Street, stocks were flat and Treasury bonds were steady.
The Lede Blog

Aftermath of the Greek Vote

Stocks on Wall Street closed mixed and Fotis Kouvelis, the leader of the moderate Democratic Left party, indicated that his party might be ready to join a coalition.

Apple and Google Go Head to Head Over Mobile Maps

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple's move into maps is hardly a surprise, but the question is if it can build a service that does as good a job, or a better one, than Google's does.
Bits Blog

Facebook Acquires Israeli Facial Recognition Company

Facebook has bought an Israeli start-up company called that can scan images in real time and identify the people in them.

Dealing With the Facebook Lawsuits

The company seems to be arguing that it disclosed everything it should have to investors and the party really responsible for the drop in its shares was Nasdaq.

His Heart Dreams of Poland, but the Left Foot Is All German

Lukas Podolski just made his 100th national-team appearance for Germany, and he marked the occasion with a goal. If things had worked out differently, he might have played for Poland.

Hats Won't Be the Only Accessory on Display at Royal Ascot

Black Caviar, a 6-year-old star sprinting mare, will most likely be wearing her much-talked-about compression suit when she steps off her transport at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

At Royal Ascot Meeting, Party Lasts to the Finish Line

This year's edition will be even more festive than usual because it is the queen's Diamond Jubilee year and the world's top-ranked thoroughbreds will be on hand to help celebrate.

In Its First Life, an Oil Platform; in Its Next, a Reef?

A lush ecosystem has grown around High Island 389-A, a dormant oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that is facing demolition under Interior Department rules.
The Lede Blog

Transcripts of Conversations Between Zimmermans Are Released

Prosecutors in Florida released audio recordings and transcripts of six phone conversations between George Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, when he was in Seminole County jail in April.

Southern Baptists Set for a Notable First

The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. of New Orleans is expected to become the leader of the convention, which has 16 million members and roots in the segregationist era.
Op-Ed Contributor

What Rio Can Do

Rio+20 will not solve the problems of sustainable development, but it can make a serious start.
Op-Ed Contributors

Acid Test for Marine Life

Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are threatening the chemical balance of ocean and coastal waters.

Stocks and Markets in the News | After Hours: Oracle shares gain, J.C. Penney falls after hours

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch 

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Oracle Corp. shares bounced higher Monday evening after the software maker posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings, while shares of J.C. Penney Co. fell after the department-store operator said one of its executives is leaving the company after less than a year on the job. 

Along with releasing fourth-quarter results, Oracle ORCL -2.09%  said its board has authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $10 billion of common stock under an existing share-buyback program. Shares of Oracle gained 4.8% to $28.41 in late trading.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Oracle said quarterly profit rose 8%, with software licensing revenue up 5% for the period. Oracle, which released the results three days earlier than planned, said net income was $3.5 billion, or 69 cents a share, on revenue of $10.9 billion. Adjusted earnings were $4.1 billion, or 82 cents a share. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 78 cents a share on revenue of $10.89 billion, according to consensus estimates from FactSet Research.
J.C. Penney shares JCP -2.25%  were off 5.6% at $22.98 as the company said President Michael Francis — who joined in October — is leaving, effective Monday. No reason for his departure was given by J.C. Penney. Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson will assume direct responsibility and oversight of marketing and merchandising functions, the company said in a statement. 

Facebook to buy Facebook has agreed to purchase, a photo recognition technology company. (Photo: Bloomberg)

The retailer has recently enacted significant pricing and promotional changes under Johnson, the former retail chief at Apple Inc. J.C. Penney’s stock has dropped more than 25% since mid-May after the company swung to a bigger-than-expected loss for its first quarter on a 20% drop in sales to $3.15 billion.
Checking other retail stocks late Monday, shares of Kohl’s Corp. KSS -1.84%   were unchanged at $43.72 and Macy’s Inc. M +1.53%  held steady at $36.61.
Ahead of late trading, the Dow industrials fell, pulling back as Spanish bond yields hit a euro-era high, the move countering optimism that came with the results of Greek elections. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.20%   fell 25 points, or 0.2%, to 12,741.82. But the S&P 500 Index SPX +0.14%  closed up 0.1% at 1,344.78 and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP +0.78%  climbed 0.8% to 2,895.33. 

Carla Mozee is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in Los Angeles.

NYT Breaking News: Roger Clemens Found Not Guilty on All Counts in Perjury Case

Breaking News The New York Times
Monday, June 18, 2012


Roger Clemens Found Not Guilty on All Counts in Perjury Case

Roger Clemens, whose hard throws intimidated even the toughest batters and turned him into one of the best pitchers in baseball history, was acquitted Monday of charges that he lied to Congress in 2008 when he insisted he never used steroids or human growth hormone during his remarkably lengthy career.

The verdict was rendered by a panel of eight women and four men who are largely uninterested in baseball. It was a major, especially painful, defeat for the government in its second failed attempt at convicting a player whose legal problems highlighted baseball’s continuing drug woes.

Read More:

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: Why mortgage rates are so low

By MarketWatch
Don’t miss these top stories:
Data suggest we’re seeing the start of a recovery in the U.S. housing market, yet every week we hear that mortgage interest rates remain at or near record lows. What’s the disconnect? Amy Hoak writes today in her Home Economic column about the factors that influence mortgage rates, including policy decisions from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the overall economic picture both in the U.S. and abroad.
Also on MarketWatch today, take a look at Quentin Fottrell’s story on why your cable TV bill will never get cheaper.
Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance

Why mortgage rates are so low

It’s a situation that seems to defy supply-and-demand logic: If there’s more demand in the housing market, wouldn’t the cost of borrowing funds to buy a home be significantly on the rise?
Read more: Why mortgage rates are so low.

Your cable TV bill will never get cheaper

While the fierce competition between cable companies and online-video services should be good for consumers, experts say it may end up raising both TV and Internet bills.
Your cable TV bill will never get cheaper.


Go global in hunt for higher dividend yield

If you seek uncluttered investment pastures, head for Europe and emerging markets.
Read more: Go global in hunt for higher dividend yield.

Eerie comparisons to the crash of 2008

When a top letter says “The similarities to 2008 are becoming almost eerie,” you just have to pay attention, writes Peter Brimelow.
Read more: Eerie comparisons to the crash of 2008.


Obama, Germany’s Merkel to meet at G-20

President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, at a pivotal point in efforts to hold together the euro zone.
Read more: Obama, Germany’s Merkel to meet at G-20

Fed expected to twist again

The Federal Reserve is likely to extend its Operation Twist program at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, a growing number of Fed watchers say.
Read more: Fed expected to twist again.

Housing index shows small improvement

An index that measures the optimism of U.S. home builders rose slightly in June, according to a survey released Monday.
Read more: Housing index shows small improvement.

Japan PM reportedly seeks more time for tax bills

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reportedly begins making arrangements to extend the current session of the parliament for two months in order to deal with controversial tax and social-security measures.
Read more: Japan PM reportedly seeks more time for tax bills. 

DealBook | DealB%K Afternoon Edition: Nelson Peltz Takes 5.1% Stake in Lazard

Monday, June 18, 2012
Nelson Peltz Takes 5.1% Stake in Lazard:
Nelson Peltz Takes 5.1% Stake in Lazard: Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management said on Monday that it now owns a 5.1 percent stake in Lazard, stressing that it believes the investment bank is undervalued but on the right track with its strategic plan. Trian began reaching out to Lazard executives in the first quarter, noting that it had begun buying up shares and wanted to begin discussions, according to a person briefed on the matter. It also approved of a strategic plan unveiled in late April aimed at bolstering Lazard's operating margins by 25 percent over the next two years and improving shareholder value through dividends and share repurchases. While Trian's team, led by Mr. Peltz, isn't a stranger to shareholder activism - it has agitated for change at the likes of Family Dollar and State Street over the past year - it has also sought to work with management on a friendlier basis.
    In House Testimony, Dimon Sticks to Script: Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase's chief executive, plans to use prepared remarks during his testimony on Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee.
    Dealing With the Facebook Lawsuits: The company seems to be arguing that it disclosed everything it should have to investors and the party really responsible for the drop in its shares was Nasdaq, write Peter J. Henning and Steven M. Davidoff in a joint column for DealBook.
    British Prosecutor Drops Suspect in Kaupthing Investigation: On Monday, Britain's Serious Fraud Office dropped the property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz as a suspect in its investigation into the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, less than a month after law enforcement agency admitted mistakes in the inquiry. Britain's fraud office has been working with the Icelandic Special Prosecutor's Office to establish whether some creditors, shareholders and executives had benefited financially days before the collapse of Kaupthing, which had large operations in Britain. Kaupthing was Iceland's biggest bank before it failed in October 2008 amid a mountain of debt and an inability to raise sufficient money for its operations.
    Investor Backs Vodafone's $1.6 Billion Bid for Cable & Wireless: Vodafone Group moved a step closer to its $1.63 billion takeover of Cable and Wireless Worldwide after the largest investor in the British telecommunications company dropped its opposition to Vodafone's bid
    Melrose in Talks to Buy German Manufacturer for $2.3 Billion: The British private equity firm Melrose is in talks to buy the Elster Group for $2.3 billion, as the German utility meter manufacturer struggles amid the region's economic woes.
    Deutsche Borse Asks Court to Overturn Decision to Block NYSE Deal: The German exchange has asked a European court to overturn a decision by antitrust regulators that blocked its planned merger with NYSE Euronext.
    Index Ventures Raises $442 Million in New Fund: The European venture capital firm has raised $442 million to invest in early stage start-ups in both Europe and the United States.
    Man Group Appoints New Finance Director Jonathan Sorrell, who joined the beleaguered hedge fund manager last summer after a sudden departure from Goldman Sachs, will replace Kevin Hayes, who is leaving the company to pursue other interests.
    Perella Weinberg Hires Former Verizon Chief: Perella Weinberg Partners said on Monday that it had hired Ivan Seidenberg, the former chairman and chief executive of Verizon Communications, as an advisory partner. In the new role, Mr. Seidenberg is expected to provide advice to the boutique investment bank's co-founders, and presumably help bring in new business
    Bank of America Hires Senior Oppenheimer Health Care Banker: Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired Brian McCarthy as a vice chairman of health care investment banking, the firm announced on Monday in an internal memorandum reviewed by DealBook. Mr. McCarthy came over from Oppenheimer & Company, where he was the head of the health care investment banking team, and previously worked at JPMorgan Chase and Lehman Brothers.
    Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, returns to Capitol Hill to appear before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. The first panel will feature the bank's regulators.

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Romney predicts a win in Wisconsin


Mitt Romney's bus tour drove into Janesville, Wisconsin on Monday with a cadre of popular Wisconsin conservatives at his side
Read full story
Romney predicts a win in Wisconsin

Romney Spanish language ad slams Obama on economy Days after Obama announces significant immigration reform, Romney reminds Latinos of his economic record

Rubio's family immigration story addressed Rubio's memoir and a new biography address his family's immigration from Cuba to the United States around the time of Castro's rise to power

Obama arrives at G-20 summit Summit of leaders from 20 nations unlikely to produce any concrete solutions for the Eurozone

Is Wisconsin ripe for a Romney win? The political winds are at the GOP's back in Wisconsin and the Romney campaign hopes he can be the first Republican presidential candidate since Reagan in 1984 to win there

BIV Business Today News: BC Ferries $16m in the red


BC Ferry

BC Ferries $16m in the red

B.C. taxpayers will be forced to throw BC Ferries a lifeline as the ferry system is sinking in red ink.

Gridlock ahead for South Fraser Perimeter Road: Delta Chamber

The Delta Chamber of Commerce has renewed calls for interchanges at two key points on the under-construction South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR).

Politics and Policy


“Rights trampled” as Tla’amin treaty vote stopped: BC Treaty Commission

The BC Treaty Commission is condemning the actions of a small number of Tla'amin Nation members who halted a treaty vote this past weekend.


Class action suit launched against Kinross Gold

A class action lawsuit launched by a B.C. investor is claiming $3.5 billion in damages against Kinross Gold Corp.

Film and Entertainment

Millions in Chinese capital heads to Whistler film competition
Up to $15 million in China-based film production financing is "on the table" for Canadian writer and producer teams.


Houweling’s tomatoes certified non-GMO, OK in Richmond

If Houweling's Tomatoes ever decides to open a greenhouse in Richmond, it should have no problem passing the city's new prohibition on Frankenfood.

Stocks and Markets in the News | Wall Street at Close: Dow Fall, Blue-chip stocks fall; S&P 500 up for third day

  SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks ended a low-volume session Monday with a loss for blue-chips and the third day of gains for the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500, as some better sentiment on Greece and U.S. housing data countered rising fears about Spain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 25.35 points, or 0.2%, at 12,741.82. Chevron Corp. contributed the most to the index's point loss. The S&P 500 rose 1.94 points, or 0.1%, to 1,344.78, led by homebuilder and tech stocks. The Nasdaq Composite added 22.53 points, or 0.8%, to 2,895.33. Volume was thin; 3.1 billion New York Stock Exchange-listed shares traded, or about 80% of the past month's average.

Blue-chip stocks fall; S&P 500 up for third day

Money Show | Traders Daily Alert: 7 Qualities That Make Big-Game Traders,

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Today's Featured Videos & Exclusive Interviews

SEC | Litigation Releases: Jon Latorella and James Fields; LocatePlus Holdings Corporation, Jon Latorella and James Fields

06/18/2012 12:58 PM EDT

 For full  information click on next link:

NFA | Enforcement Actions: permanently bars Auburn, Alabama futures firm, TS Capital Management

The Economist | Selected New Articles: Greece, Chinese women and James Joyce

The Economist

Newsbook: A tight vote for the euro
In Greece, fear of being forced out of the euro was slightly stronger than anger over continuing austerity
read more »
Feast and famine: What's Pushto for the pill?
A sliver of good news from Afghanistan
read more »
Analects: Perils of motherhood
Even when China's laws limiting family size are obeyed, the results are perverse
read more »
Babbage: Lady's first
The Chinese launch a woman into space
read more »
Gulliver: The secrets of Southwest's continued success
Are reduced maintenance costs a big part of the discount airline's winning streak?
read more »
Prospero: Why you should read Ulysses
Ignore the wet-blanket misinformation and prepare yourself for a flood of ecstatic imagination
read more »
Graphic detail: Buy me a river
A new index attempts to take stock of countries' total wealth
read more »
Online debate: US elections
Over two-thirds of this house believes the president deserves to be re-elected. Do you agree?
read more »