US Stock Market Regulator SEC Suspends Trading in 15 Companies Over Social Media Action

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Securities and Exchange Commission, regulator of the US stock market, announced on Friday that it has suspended trading in 15 companies that engaged in questionable trading and social media activity.

The 15 companies were identified as Bebida Beverage Co; Blue Sphere Corporation; Ehouse Global Inc; Eventure Interactive Inc; Eyes on the Go Inc; Green Energy Enterprises Inc; Helix Wind Corp; International Power Group Ltd; Marani Brands Inc; MediaTechnics Corp; Net Inc; Patten Energy Solutions Group Inc; PTA Holdings Inc; Universal Apparel & Textile Company; and Wisdom Homes of America Inc.

“The SEC’s recent suspensions of trading in nearly two dozen securities – including 15 today – are one facet of our ongoing efforts to police the market and protect investors,” Melissa Hodgman, acting director at SEC’s division of enforcement, said in a statement. “We proactively monitor for suspicious trading activity tied to stock promotions on social media, and act quickly to stop that trading when appropriate to safeguard the public interest.”

The suspensions came on the heels of similar action enforced on  securities of other companies believed to have been targets of social media attempts to artificially inflate stock prices, the SEC said.

The regulator said it routinely reviews market and trading data for such activity in the public interest and to protect investors. “We also remind investors to exercise caution and do their diligence before investing generally, including in companies promoted on social media,” Hodgman added.

Under the federal securities laws, the SEC can suspend trading in a stock for 10 days and generally prohibit a broker-dealer from soliciting investors to buy or sell the stock again until certain reporting requirements are met, the statement said.

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