On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a Press Release concerning its most recent update to the list of entities NOT registered with the SEC “that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-US investors.” That update adds 82 soliciting entities, 8 “impersonators of genuine firms,” and 1 “bogus” regulator. The bogus regulator, “Global Fraud Prevention, has an address in San Francisco. The list is known as the SEC’s “Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE)” list. It is intended to enable potential investors “to better inform themselves and avoid being a victim of fraud.”
The PAUSE list was originally created in response to complaints “regularly received from investors and foreign securities regulators.” The first list was published April 15, 2008, to “protect retail investors.” It is periodically updated, with the November 30, 2021 list being its most recent. A copy of the PAUSE list, now containing 1338 names, can be found at www.sec.gov/investor/oiepauselist.htm. A copy of the most recent PAUSE list additions (dated December 1, 2021) is linked here.
In the PAUSE list, the SEC cautions that being on the list does NOT mean the listed entity has committed any securities law violations. Of course, the SEC makes no evaluation of any securities offered by a listed firm. However, inclusion on the list may well give one PAUSE, especially if (with apologies to the Who) one cannot determine who or what an entity is.
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