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SEC Enforces Short-Selling Prohibition

WASHINGTON (CN) - The SEC on Tuesday filed settled complaints charging two California investment advisory firms with illegal short-selling of securities in advance of their participation in a company's secondary offering. They are the first cases filed under the SEC's amended Rule 105 of Regulation M, which was instituted to prohibit manipulative short selling ahead of securities offerings.

In separate federal complaints, the SEC charged Los Angeles-based AGB Partners LLC and its principals Gregory A. Bied of Boise, Idaho, and Andrew J. Goldberger of Santa Monica, Calif. The SEC said they netted thousands of dollars in improper profits by shorting in advance of their purchase of stock in a secondary offering.

In the other case, the SEC charged Los Angeles-based Palmyra Capital Advisors LLC, finding that it violated short-selling rules and improperly profited in three of its managed hedge funds.

Bied and Goldberger "consented to be censured" and will pay more than $50,000 in disgorgement and penalties, the SEC said. Palmyra will pay more than $330,000.

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