Phillip Frost, 82, who according to Forbes magazine is worth $1.9 billion, was charged by the SEC, along with other defendants, of defrauding investors and made $27 million in improper gains. He has now settled the SEC charge by paying $5.52 million.
Phillip Frost, Florida’s biotechnology billionaire has agreed to settle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on civil charges for $5.52 million over his alleged role in “pump-and-dump” schemes that left investors with virtually worthless stock.
As per the rules of the settlement as defined by a filing from the Manhattan federal court, Frost, the chairman and CEO of Miami-based Opko Health Inc, will have to pay a fine of $5 million plus $523,000 which represents alleged ill-gotten gains and interest.
Frost has also accepted restrictions on trading in penny stocks.
Further, Opko has also agreed to pay a $100,000 fine in a related settlement.
Neither defendant admitted or denied wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlements, which will end “potentially expensive, contentious and time-consuming litigation,” said Frost in a statement provided by Opko.
Court approval is required.
A lawyer for Frost had no immediate additional comment.
On September 7, 2018, Frost was among ten people and ten associated entities to be charged by the SEC; the SEC’s charge relate to his alleged role in “pump-and-dump” schemes from 2013 to 2018 in the manipulation of share prices of three companies.
The SEC had charged various defendants of purchasing large blocks of penny stocks at steep discounts, promoting and quietly selling them at inflated prices; through this scheme the various defendants had generated more than $27 million in improper gains.
The SEC said, Frost was allegedly involved in two such schemes.
According to Forbes magazine, Frost, 82, is worth $1.9 billion.