In an August 8, 2014, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS article, Patrick Danner writes about the stock broker Matthew A. Bell, and others, charged with securities fraud. Bell was arrested last month after he, along with six others, were indicted in a $300 million stock manipulation scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed civil charges against Bell and others for the return of profits from the alleged scheme and penalties.
One of the firms that Bell allegedly recommended to clients was Palmaz Scientific Inc. This biotech was part of a private offering, and often a private placement is considered highly speculative and risky to the clients purchasing the investment.
The group is also accused of 'pump-and-dump' which is basically pumping up the price of penny stocks before dumping their own personal shares which then causes the price to crash and leaves investors with worthless paper, while they walk away with their profits. Some of the alleged 'pump-and-dump' schemes involved shares of Cubed, Inc., The Staffing Group Ltd., CodeSmart, and StarStream Entertainment Inc. Matthew Bell was with Securities America, Inc. and WFG Investments, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas.
Lars Soreide of Soreide Law Group is representing some of Bell's clients who have filed claims with the Federal Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Bell. Soreide said in the article that his clients were accredited investors. However, he said the private placement was still unsuitable for them because it's an illiquid investment and it represented a substantial portion of their net worth.
“Truthfully, I don't think they know what the hell they even bought,” Soreide said. “They just did whatever he told them to buy.”
Bell apparently found many of his clients through Oak Hills Church, the North Side mega-church.
“He actually prayed with some of my clients before they bought investments,” Soreide said. “Talk about insanity.”
Soreide Law Group represents their clients nationwide before FINRA. If you were a client of Matthew A. Bell, or other brokers/financial advisors involved in this alleged scheme, call an attorney for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses: 888-760-6552.