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On Monday, the SEC charged New Jersey residents Joseph Taub and Elazar Shmalo for running a fraudulent market manipulation scheme to influence the market prices of over 2,000 exchange-traded securities on exchanges including the NASDAQ, the NYSE, and the NYSE MKT. Between January 2014 and December 2015, Taub and Shmalo engaged in at least 23,000 market manipulation events that gained them north of $26 million in ill-gotten profits. The scheme was little more than quick, coordinated, and repeated pump-and-dumps, each lasting less than five minutes. Taub and Shmalo averaged over 40 of these pump-and-dumps per trading day

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duck

Lethargy, exhaustion, languor, fatigue…all these describe the 2016 effectiveness of both the US government in total and the performance measures of the financial funds that investors look to for future growth. With a Supreme Court deadlocked since January following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and a slugfest of a presidential campaign that dominated the US political discourse through November, nothing of import has come out of Congress in months. And while the stock market may be on a tear since the November 9 election result announcement, it does not necessarily translate on a fund basis to more than a mix of so-so growth that leaves investors yawning

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state

The SEC has announced a number of settlements over the past two weeks, including a nearly $20 million dollar settlement by Pimco on charges it misled investors about the performance of its Total Return ETF and an $80,000 settlement from San Francisco-based firm Equidate Inc for failing to register security-based swaps in pre-IPO companies. Meanwhile, this week the financial regulator awarded $3.5 million to a whistleblower. The whistleblower’s name and related case are redacted — as they always are for whistleblower rewards

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