HOUSTON – Keller & Associates, P.C. won a $5.2 million judgment in a case alleging that illegal market manipulation of an e-commerce site’s publicly traded stock enabled the defendants to reap millions of dollars in profits to the detriment of the company and unsuspecting public investors.
[ClickPress, Mon Jun 12 2017] Keller & Associates represented LuxeYard (OTC: LUXR) in the trial of this securities fraud case. Hick Thomas LLP was co-counsel with the Keller & Associates team. In a judgment signed March 13, Judge Michael Landrum, of Harris County’s 113th District Court, ordered seven defendants to pay a total of more than $5.2 million.
“The ruling was well-reasoned and thorough, as made clear by the Court’s published findings,” noted Mr. Keller. “Most of the defendants settled prior to trial, and almost all of those that did not settle, were found to be liable.”
According to the lawsuit, the trading activities date back to 2012, when certain defendants paid marketing firms millions of dollars to tout LuxeYard’s stock, while orchestrating a scheme to sell their shares at the same time. Among those accused of illegally promoting the stock is NBT Equities Research, a company affiliated with Tobin Smith, a former Fox News commentator. Last year, in an unrelated case, Mr. Smith agreed to pay more than $250,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that he and his company fraudulently promoted a penny stock to investors.
The trial of the case was unusual, according to those in attendance, because three witnesses invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify. “It was a case that essentially tried itself,” said Mr. Keller.
The case is Khaled Alattar and LuxeYard Inc. v. Kevan Casey, et al., Cause No. 2012-54501 in 113th District Court in Harris County.