Opko Health (NASDAQ: OPK) under attack from SEC; Mark Cuban confirms that he is running low on the stock
Financier Barry Honig, Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) and Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) CEO John O’Rourke was among the defendants in a securities fraud lawsuit filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging a “pump-and-dump” system.
Trading in Opko shares was suspended indefinitely on Friday afternoon.
Cuban An Opko Short
Billionaire investor and Shark Tank personality Mark Cuban confirmed to Benzinga on Friday afternoon that he was short of Opko Health and Biotech PolarityTE Inc (NASDAQ: COOL).
Cuban tweeted on March 6, “Just for the record, I shorted it a few years ago,” referring to Opko.
Cuban was recently asked about his shorts on CNBC and refused to respond, saying, “If you want to know where my shorts interests traditionally have been, just check out this page because we are publishing everything. Because you know I’m not the FCC’s best friend, so literally everything I shorted out has been released. ”
The site Cuban was referring to was Share Sleuth; In July, the website published an article about honey and its staff.
Honey and nine others have been involved in highly profitable pump-and-dump programs run by numerous executives and companies, the SEC said. They are accused of soliciting others to buy or sell shares and then promoting the stock for the sake of attractiveness before securing major ownership of the issuer and essentially serving as a control group to generate market interest.
According to the SEC, misleading information was produced to drive stock prices high.
“In several instances, in order to amplify the intended post-release increase in volume and price of a promotional item, Honig, Brauser, O’Rourke, Groussman, Melechdavid and ATG have conducted pre-release manipulative trading in order to create a misleading picture of market interest in the company’s stock, which arouses investor interest, “the lawsuit said.
Three programs ran from 2013 to 2018 and grossed millions of dollars, according to the SEC.
PolarityTE ends Stetson
Biotech PolarityTE announced in a press release Friday that it had terminated John Stetson, a defendant in the SEC lawsuit. Stetson is the former chief investment officer and executive vice president of PolarityTE, according to LinkedIn.
“None of the other defendants listed in the SEC’s lawsuit have recently had a management, employment or advisory relationship with the company, and will not have one in the future,” the company said in a statement.
“As the measures taken today show, the company, management and board of directors will not tolerate the behavior described in the complaint.”
Opko shares fell 18 percent to $ 4.58 as of Friday’s close of trading, while Riot Blockchain shares fell 24.3 percent to $ 4.30.
The SEC lawsuit has been filed in the US District Court in the southern borough of New York.
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