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 WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denied a motion by R.B. Webster Investments, Inc., of Lauderhill, Fla., and its president, Robert Bruce Orkin of Coconut Creek, Fla., for a stay of sanctions, pending the outcome of an appeal to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which were imposed in a disciplinary action taken by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the self-regulatory organization for The Nasdaq Stock Market(SM) and the over-the-counter securities markets. Therefore, the sanctions are effective immediately.
 In the NASD disciplinary action, R.B. Webster and Orkin were censured and fined $200,000 jointly and severally and ordered to pay $53,784 in restitution to customers. R.B. Webster was also expelled from NASD membership and Orkin was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. The disciplinary action was initiated by the NASD's Atlanta District Business Conduct Committee and the NASD's final decision was issued by its National Business Conduct Committee (NBCC) following an appeal.
 The NASD found that R.B Webster, acting through Orkin, effected principal transactions with public customers at unfair prices in units of Applied Geometric, Inc., (Applied) and LMA Technical, Inc. (LMA) securities. Both issues were securities of "blind pool" companies traded over-the-counter and quoted in the pink sheets. The NASD found that R.B. Webster and Orkin had charged markups ranging from 10 to 138 percent for Applied units and from 10 to 84 percent for LMA units, in violation of the NASD's Mark-Up Policy. In addition, the respondents used their domination and control of the market for Applied and LMA securities to manipulate the prices of such securities from the $10 initial public offering price to $27.50 in each case. Furthermore, the NASD found that the firm abused its dominant position in the market to set arbitrary prices and executed sales to the public at arbitrarily high prices.
 The respondents then appealed the NASD decision to the SEC, and requested a stay of the sanctions pending SEC review of the disciplinary action against them. The SEC denied this request for a stay, citing among other reasons, the seriousness of the violations found by the NASD. The SEC stated: "While determination relating to applicants' conduct must await consideration of the merits of their appeal, excessive markup and market manipulation are serious violations ... the denial of their (R.B. Webster and Orkin) stay request is outweighed by the need to protect the public interest." Respondents then appealed the SEC's denial of a stay to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The SEC filed a motion to dismiss the appeal and voluntarily consented to an interim stay while the court considered the respondents' emergency motion for an interim stay. The court then denied the emergency motion of R.B. Webster and Orkin and granted the SEC's motion to dismiss. Therefore, the sanctions of expulsion and bar are in effect.
 The NASD investigation is part of a continuing nationwide effort by the NASD to eliminate trading and sales-practice abuses. "Obviously, the NASD is very pleased with the determination of the SEC and the U.S. Court of Appeals to permit the NASD's expulsion of R.B. Webster and bar of Orkin to take effect. We believe the interests of the investing public have been well served by closing R.B. Webster down and removing Orkin from the securities business," said John E. Pinto, NASD executive vice president, regulation.
 -0- 10/27/93
 /CONTACT: Robert Ferri, 202-728-8955, James D. Spellman, 202-728-8197, Richard Myers, 202-728-8397, or Marilyn B. Davis, 404-239-6100, all for the National Association of Securities Dealers/

CO: National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.; R.B. Webster
 Investments, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:

DT-KD -- DC027 -- 7425 10/27/93 14:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 27, 1993

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