SEC Charges 23 Companies With Internet Securities Fraud

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday reported a sweep of 23 companies it charged with using Internet marketing schemes to defraud investors.

The SEC filed 11 lawsuits against the companies it accused of using e-mail, electronic newsletters, message boards and Web sites to pump the market value of stocks involved by more than $300 million and raise $2.5 million from investors.

According to the SEC, companies named in the lawsuits made false promises of impending IPOs, fabricated baseless financial projections, falsified track records and resumes, paid purported analysts to publish favorable reports, inflated claims and used false testimonials.

The SEC has initiated more than 200 Internet-related legal actions, half of which have occurred in the last 14 months.


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