The Last Detective - Nardizzi Inc.


Chinese reverse mergers a growing problem

The number of lawsuits against Chinese reverse merger companies nearly tripled since 2010, according to a study by Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research. "Securities Class Action Filings: 2011 Mid-Year Assessment," reports that 24 class action lawsuits were filed against Chinese reverse merger companies in 2011. Reverse mergers work as follows: a Chinese business is acquired by an American shell company that is publicly traded. The board then resigns, a Chinese-appointed board takes control and changes the company name. Voila: it now can issue new stock to investors, all without IPO costs and paperwork.

FINRA BrokerCheck fixes gaping hole in database.

Our tests show that changes to FINRA's Brokercheck have finally closed a major loophole in a database long criticized as outdated and difficult to use (previous editions were cumbersome: for example, users were required --in an era when name searches are the norm on almost any database--to specify past employers for a broker before checking their background; otherwise the search did not work).

Some estimate that more than 15,000 individuals who left the securities industry after facing regulatory action did not have their disciplinary history available on BrokerCheck. Those records became available this month. Many of those former brokers returned to the business world in different capacities and, like stock market vampires, found new victims. Repeated scandals in 2009 finally forced the industry to make this necessary change.