Make us your home page

New SEC program identifies unregistered brokers

The nation's securities police launched a new initiative Tuesday to warn investors against doing business with unregistered brokers, including one using an apparently phony St. Petersburg address.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pointed a finger at Global Direct Financial Inc. and several dozen other companies, saying they've been the subject of complaints from investors and regulators and are not registered to sell securities.

The SEC said Global listed its address as Suite 110 of the Aura Executive Center at 695 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. However, the center said the company was never a tenant and the building doesn't have a Suite 110. No one answered at Global's telephone numbers, which had New York and South Florida area codes.

The SEC's new program goes by the acronym PAUSE, which stands for Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities. When a complaint comes in and the SEC verifies the company is not registered to sell securities, the information will be made public on the SEC Web site (

The findings may lead to a more formal investigation and enforcement action by federal or state securities regulators, but that process often takes years. PAUSE provides an early warning system.

"By arming investors with this online resource, we're making it increasingly difficult for swindlers to succeed with their illegal activities," SEC chairman Christopher Cox said.

Putting the information on the Web also makes it accessible to foreign investors solicited by companies claiming to be U.S.-registered brokers.

SEC officials say they receive about 1,400 complaints a year from investors solicited by unregistered companies. It's common for the companies to use false addresses, the SEC said.

Related link

Securities and Exchange Commission: Full list of unregistered companies

New SEC program identifies unregistered brokers 04/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients


    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel


    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]