Phillip Frost, the biotechnology billionaire from Florida, is ready to pay around $5.52 million for settling the civil charges placed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He is alleged to play a significant role in “pump-and-dump” schemes which have left the investors with virtually worthless stocks.
Frost, the chief executive and chairman of Opko Health Inc, Miami, is required to pay $5 million as fine and $523,000 as alleged ill gotten interest and gains for the settlement. This was reported by a Thursday filing in the federal court of Manhattan.
Restrictions placed on trading penny stocks have also been accepted by Frost. Opko has also agreed to pay around $100,000 fine in another settlement which is related to this one. Wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlements has neither been denied nor admitted by the defendant.
As per Frost, this will put an end to the potentially expensive, contentious and time consuming litigation. Approval is required by the court. No additional comments were made by Frost’s lawyer.
Frost is one among the ten other people and associated entities who are charged by the SEC on 7 September. Those alleged are said to be involved from 2013 to 2018 for manipulating the share prices of three companies.
Various defendants have been alleged by the SEC for buying large blocks of penny stocks at steep discounts, promotion of those shares and then selling their stocks at inflated prices quietly. The alleged defendants have earned around $27 million and more as improper gains.
The SEC has alleged that Frost was involved in two of the schemes. Frost (82) is worth $1.9 billion at present as reported by the Forbes magazine. He was the chief executive and chairman of Ivax Corp before he sold the drug maker in 2006 for $7.4 billion to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd based in Israel.
Source: Reuters, US News