News: 50 Cent Faces Possible Investigation Over "Pump & Dump" Violation
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 11:50AM
G-Unit head honcho 50 Cent may be placed under investigation by the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) for encouraging over 3 million Twitter followers to invest money in a penny-stock company.
Details on the violations 50 may have allegedly encountered landed online Wednesday (January 12) morning.
Rapper 50 Cent may have momentarily gotten $8.7 million richer after encouraging his Twitter followers to invest in a money-losing penny stock, but now the hip hopper may be in big trouble with the Security Exchange Commission. "There are very strict guidelines as to what a person can do in terms of possibly manipulating the value of a stock," financial expert and 60-Minute Money Workout author Ellie Kay tells FOX411. "I don't think it would be a huge surprise to anyone if 50 Cent were investigated for what he did." On the SEC's web site, a list for common violations that could lead the government agency to conduct an investigation include "manipulating the market prices of securities." (Fox News)
Another report claims the SEC thrives on the possibility of launching a high profile investigation.
Securities laws are complicated, but promoting a stock in which you have an interest is a potential violation of securities laws, said Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago securities lawyer. Even if you're saying something that you believe to be true, promoting shares without mentioning your personal interest in the company gets scrutinized under "pump and dump" rules. These rules are aimed at stopping insiders from saying: "Get in now" while they're quietly getting out. "The SEC loves nothing more than making a high-profile example out of somebody who is violating the rules. We don't need to look further than Martha Stewart to see that. If the department of Justice can get a clean shot at him, I'm sure they would love to take a swing," said Stoltmann. "If [50 Cent] has a managerial role, interlocking business relationships, or if he's on the board, the company could be dragged into a suit as well." (Money Watch)
For his role in helping promote the stock, H&H Imports, 50 reportedly banked over $8 million last weekend.
Rapper 50 Cent made $8.7 million in paper money on Monday thanks to some tweets. The singer helped pop the shares of the penny stock of H&H Imports, in which he has a stake, by talking it up on Twitter over the weekend, the paper said. H&H owns a marketing firm called TV Goods that was founded by Kevin Harrington of ABC reality show Shark Tank fame, according to the paper. H&H stock gained 29 cents to 39 cents on Monday. That helped boost the value of the singer's stake by $8.7 million, the Post said. 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, received 30 million shares of H&H in a private placement last October. In March, the firm's auditor raised questions about its ability "to continue as a going concern." (Hollywood Reporter)
Despite the sudden growth in stock, there is speculation on the company's stability.
Of course, Jackson's hype won't fix the cash-flow problems at H&H. The company lost $1.3 million last quarter on revenues of just $292,933. As of Sept. 30, the company has accumulated a deficit of $3.3 million and in March its auditor raised questions about its ability "to continue as a going concern," the company has said in financial documents. H&H closed at 39 cents yesterday, up 29 cents, boosting Jackson's 30 million-share stake by $8.7 million. (New York Post)
Check out some recent footage of 50 Cent down below: