The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. (www.nasd-law.com)
announced today that it is continuing to investigate WFG Investments
("WFG") and Securities America relating to the supervision of Matthew A.
Bell ("Bell") and the sale of CodeSmart Holdings (OTC: ITEN), Cubed,
Inc. (OTC: CRPT), StarStream (OTC: SSET) and The Staffing Group, Ltd.
(OTC: TSGL). Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
("SEC") charged individuals, including Bell, alleging that they pocketed
millions of dollars running an elaborate pump-and-dump scheme. Another
broker, Craig L. Josephberg ("Josephberg"), who was registered with
Halcyon Cabot Partners, Ltd. and is currently registered with Meyers
Associates, is a co-defendant with Bell.
According to the SEC, "The CEO and president of a purported merchant
banking firm - Abraxas `A.J.' Discala and Marc E. Wexler - teamed up
with brokers Matthew A. Bell and Craig L. Josephberg as well as Ira
Shpiro, CEO of the medical education company CodeSmart, to inflate the
price of the company's stock and profit at the expense of the brokers'
customers. They acquired 3 million restricted shares of CodeSmart stock
following its reverse merger into a public shell company in May 2013,
and improperly flooded the market with the shares as though they were
unrestricted. They then engaged in a promotional campaign to hype the
stock with Shapiro issuing materially misleading CodeSmart press
releases that were sometimes edited by Discala. Meanwhile Bell and
Josephberg invested their brokerage clients in CodeSmart, often using
their retirement funds to purchase the purportedly unrestricted shares.
Once Discala and Wexler reduced their trading and Bell and Josephberg
dumped their own shares on the market, CodeSmart's stock price crashed
to earth from a peak of nearly $7 per share. It is currently trading
below 10 cents."
"This was a brazen manipulation scheme calculated to enrich Discala and
his accomplices using, in many cases, the retirement savings of innocent
and unwitting retail investors," said Andrew Ceresney, director of the
SEC Enforcement Division. "We act aggressively against unscrupulous
brokers and investment advisers who take advantage of individual
investors," Ceresney added.
During the time period at issue, Bell was registered with FINRA
broker-dealers WFG and Securities America. Under FINRA Rules, WFG and
Securities America were obligated to properly supervise the activities
of Bell during the time he was registered with the brokerage firms.
Accordingly, WFG and/or Securities America may be liable for failing to
supervise Bell's activities while registered at the respective brokerage
firms. Moreover, Halcyon Cabot Partners, Ltd. and/or Meyers Associates
may also be liable for failing to supervise the conduct of Josephberg
during the time period at issue.
If you have information relating to this investigation, please contact
Steven D. Toskes, Esquire or Jahan K. Manasseh, Esquire of Klayman &
Toskes, P.A., at 888-997-9956, or visit us on the web at www.nasd-law.com.
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