On October 8, 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued an order instituting administrative proceedings and imposing remedial sanctions against Michael Siva, who was associated with a registered broker-dealer and investment adviser between 2009 and 2017. According to the SEC’s findings, Siva received material nonpublic information about potential mergers and acquisitions from James Moodhe, a registered representative associated with registered broker dealers. Siva regularly used that information to recommend and purchase stocks for himself and his clients. Based on these facts, Siva pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and tender offer fraud in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in October 2018. In conjunction with his guilty plea, a forfeiture order was entered against Siva, and in the civil case brought by the SEC, Siva was enjoined from violating Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b05 and 14e-3 thereunder. The disgorgement order included in the final judgment was deemed satisfied by the forfeiture order entered in the criminal case. The final SEC order instituting administrative proceedings pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 bars Siva from association with any broker, dealer, investment advisor, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, and from participation in offerings of penny stock.
Civil and criminal charges were brought against Siva’s six co-conspirators; all pleaded guilty to the criminal charges, and final civil judgments were entered against them in 2017, 2018, and against five of them, in September 2019.