by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended 379 OTC Bulletin Board and pink sheets shells, citing the need to prevent them from becoming future pump-and-dumps. The Canadian companies on the list include former Vancouver Stock Exchange listing Stratcomm Media Ltd. and Vancouver spam promotion Shallbetter Industries Inc. While there are no specific allegations against any of the companies, the SEC says many were "ripe for potential fraud." Stock manipulators will pay as much as $750,000 to take control of such a company, recouping that money plus more in subsequent pump-and-dumps. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
The 379 companies on the list all appear to be dormant, many having barely traded for years. Some are leftovers from the dot-com era, with names such as dot1Web Inc. and MyGlobalConcierge.com Inc. Others are the remains of once-substantial companies that have become defunct, among them former satellite phone operator Iridium World Communications Ltd.