December 22, 2011 in Business

Spokane stockbroker named in fraud case

Agent among six implicated by SEC
By The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane stockbroker has been implicated in a penny stock scheme that cheated investors out millions of dollars in part by leveraging the fame of a former Chicago Bears football player.

Mark C. Nevdahl, who runs Regal Securities at 111 E. Magnesium Road, acted as the trustee and stockbroker for a number of accounts that were unlawfully used to sell shares of a company called Heart Tronics, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a civil complaint filed this week.

Nevdahl is among six people named in the complaint, which alleges he was paid $78,000 in brokerage commissions in addition to trustee fees.

The SEC alleges former Bears wide receiver Willie Gault – who starred for the National Football League team during its 1985-1986 Super Bowl winning season – was used as a celebrity figurehead to woo stock sales in the medical device company.

Behind the scenes, other company officials were filing false and misleading financial reports to inflate the share price, according to the SEC.

Defendants in the case include Hollywood talent agent J. Rowland Perkins and lawyer Mitchell J. Stein, who is accused of setting up the program that included secret stock trades once the price was artificially high. Such arrangements are referred to as pump-and-dump schemes. Stein has been arrested as part of a parallel U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

Heart Tronics had been known as Signalife, and purported to market heart monitors called the Fidelity 100.

Nevdahl did not respond to an interview request this week regarding his role in the Heart Tronics matter.

The SEC complaint said Stein enlisted Nevdahl as trustee for blind trusts that created “the façade that the shares were under the control of an independent trustee.”

“The trusts were blind in name only, and Nevdahl met Stein and his wife’s regular demands for cash by continually selling Heart Tronics stock through the trusts.”

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