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Smart Online CEO Bribed Brokers To Sell Stock, CEO Claims

MANHATTAN (CN) - Dennis Michael Nouri, CEO of Smart Online, bribed stock brokers to solicit customers to buy shares in the company so he could qualify it for listing on the NASDAQ, the SEC claims in Federal Court.

The Commission claims Nouri paid more than $170,000 in bribes to defendants Anthony Martin, James Doolan, Ruben Serrano, and Alain Lustig, all of them brokers at brokerage firms. They sold more than 267,000 shares of the company, about 10 percent of its total trading volume, the SEC says. "Michael Nouri concealed the bribes as 'consulting fees' paid pursuant to sham consulting agreements. The brokers did not disclose to their customers that they were receiving bribes to sell Smart Online stock and Michael Nouri understood that this would be concealed from the customers," the SEC says. Nouri also bribed "Individual A" to buy shares, the suit states. The SEC suspended trading in Smart Online the day it qualified for the NASDAQ.

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