Quote of the Day - Power (n): The only narcotic regulated by the SEC instead of the FDA.
The SEC wants some $2.7 million disgorged in illegal stock trades and an $8 million penalty awarded recently by a judge. The SEC wants more than $10 million from a Hong Kong company, Blue Bottle, Ltd., and its 30-year old CEO, Matthew Stokes, from Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel perhaps more famous for its secrecy and financial isolation from the rest of the world. And Hong Kong?
Right. The SEC stands more of a chance of collecting money than Germany has of occupying Gurnsey again.
Neither the company nor its CEO appeared in New York to contest the proceedings, so the SEC won by default. The SEC alleged that the company and its CEO hacked into unspecified computers on unspecified networks to gain information not yet available to the general public. They then traded on that information, using call options, which bet share prices would rise on good news and put options, which bet prices would decline on bad news.
But what of the place where the perpetrator resides? Guernsey is one of the last remnants of the medieval realm of the Duke of Normandy, and while dependent on the Crown, it is not part of the United Kingdom. As a consequence, it has its own laws and virtually answers to no one.
In other words, it's a tax haven, and just as equally a haven from the SEC.
As long as Mr. Stokes and his company stay behind these curtains, then it is likely the SEC will never see its money.