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by Mike Caswell
Alpine Securities Corp., the Salt Lake City clearing firm cited for failing to properly report scores of suspicious transactions, has protested a $22.7-million fine that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking, calling the sanction a "corporate death penalty." (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Alpine says that the fine is unsubstantiated and would force it to close. As Alpine sees things, the SEC's figures is 100 times the amount that would be appropriate.
The complaints from Alpine come as the SEC is looking to fine the firm for a scheme that is linked to Vancouver, at least loosely. The SEC cited Alpine for failing to report suspicious transactions, or trades that could indicate money laundering on markets at risk for manipulation. The SEC did not name the stocks involved, but some names did come up when a related entity, Scottsdale Capital Corp., received a $1.5-million fine in 2017 for the same activity. The fine stemmed from trades with three companies, one of which was a Vancouver listing called Voip Pal.com Inc. According to the SEC, most of Alpine's business came from Scottsdale, and both firms are owned by the same man, John Joseph Hurry.
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