SEC charges penny stock dealer for failing to register

The Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against Justin W. Keener and JMJ Financial for failing to register as a securities dealer with the SEC. Keener allegedly traded billions of newly issued shares of penny stock, making profit of millions of dollars.

The SEC’s complaint was filed in federal court of Miami. It claims that between January 2015 and January 2018 Keener purchased convertible notes from penny stock issuers, converting them into shares of stock at a significant discount from the market price and selling them into the market for a large profit. The complaint claims that Keener bought convertible notes from over 100 issuers and sold over 17.5 billion shares of newly issued penny stock, making more than $21.5 million profit. Keener was not registered dealer with SEC, which violates the mandatory registration provisions of the federal securities law.

Carolyn Welshhans, Associate Director in the Division of Enforcement stated:

Carolyn Welshhans

The privilege of being a dealer in our securities market comes with important responsibilities and regulatory obligations, including submitting to regulatory inspections and oversight of operations. By failing to register with the Commission, Mr. Keener evaded important safeguards that help protect the integrity of our markets.

The complaint filed by the SEC charged Keener with violation of registration provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC pursues permanent injunction, repaying all ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, a civil penalty, and a penny stock bar.

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