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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has won a partial summary judgment against Abraham "Avi" Mirman, a New York broker accused of participating in the manipulation of Liberty Silver Corp., a former Toronto Stock Exchange listing. The SEC claimed that Mr. Mirman helped arrange the improper sale of millions of Liberty Silver shares though an offshore account. The judge has found Mr. Mirman to be a "necessary participant and substantial factor" in a proposed offering of 6.5 million shares.
The ruling comes as part of the SEC's case against Mr. Mirman and Ontario promoter Bobby Genovese for a 2012 scheme to boost Liberty Silver. The SEC said that Mr. Genovese touted the company through promotional newsletters while failing to disclose his plans to sell millions of shares. According to the regulator, Mr. Genovese sold $17.5-million worth of stock, generating an $8-million profit. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
Mr. Mirman's part in the scheme, as set out by the SEC, included bringing Mr. Genovese into the firm where he worked, John Thomas Financial, and allowing him to pitch Liberty Silver. Some John Thomas brokers went on to recommend the stock to clients, who in turn purchased it, the SEC claimed. According to the SEC, Mr. Mirman was well aware that Mr. Genovese held a large block of shares and that he had not disclosed his plans to sell the stock.
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