Litigation Release No. 25118 / June 21, 2021
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark A. Miller, No. 21-cv-01445 (D. Minn. June 18, 2021)
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a litigated action charging Mark A. Miller, a resident of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, with defrauding retail investors through a pump-and-dump scheme.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Miller hijacked or controlled at least seven defunct public issuers between September 2017 and April 2019. The complaint alleges that, over the course of the scheme, Miller purchased shares of the issuers on the open market, made false filings with the SEC and issued false press releases regarding his, or his nominees’, alleged role with five of the issuers. The complaint further alleges that Miller filed false documents with the offices of at least three Secretaries of State to reinstate these issuers, and submitted similar false documents to transfer agents and OTC Markets Group, Inc. As alleged, Miller coordinated the reposting of the false information and documents on social media to pump the issuers’ stock. According to the complaint, Miller’s scheme defrauded unsuspecting retail investors who purchased the respective issuers’ securities at inflated prices, while Miller reaped approximately $126,000 in profits from his sales of the issuers’ securities.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Minnesota, charges Miller with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty, as well as a bar against Miller serving as an officer or director of a public company and a penny stock bar.
The SEC’s investigation, which is ongoing, was conducted by Raven A. Winters, Kathleen M. Sweeney, Kristine Rodriguez, and Carl Harris, and supervised by Amy S. Cotter of the Chicago Regional Office. Alyssa A. Qualls will lead the litigation.
The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the United States Postal Service, and the FBI.