SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Justin W. Keener for Unregistered Securities Dealing

Securities and Exchange Commission V. Justin W. Keener, d/b/a JMJ Financial No. 1:20-cv-21254 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 20, 2022)

On December 20, 2020, Beth Bloom of the United States District Court for Southern District of Florida rendered a final judgment in favor of Justin W. Keener. He is also known by the name JMJ Financial. The Securities and Exchange Commission had filed a lawsuit against Keener alleging that Keener had bought and sold billions of newly-issued shares of penny stocks without registering with the SEC as a securities broker. The activity took place between January 2015 and January 2018. Keener obtained these shares from issuers directly after converting convertible notes, which are debt securities. Keener avoided some regulatory obligations dealers must follow by failing to register. These include regulatory inspections, financial responsibilities, and maintaining proper record keeping.

Earlier, the SEC had been granted summary judgement by the court. The court ruled on January 21, 2022 that Keener was a dealer because he conducted a business buying and selling securities regularly for his own benefit. The court ruled that Keener’s failure to register or associate himself with a registered broker violated Section 15(a), of the Securities Exchange Act of 1939.

In its final judgment, Keener was ordered to pay disgorgement in the amount of $7,786,639 and prejudgment interest in the amount of $1.425,266, as well as a $1,030,000 civil penalty. The total judgment was $10,241,905. Keener was also subjected to a permanent injunction as well as a five-year ban on penny stocks. He was also told to surrender some stock and the conversion rights on existing convertible securities.

SEC is represented by Joshua E. Braunstein & Antony Richard Petrilla

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Securities and Exchange Commission is the regulatory agency that enforces and oversees securities laws in the United States. Its main goal is to protect investors and maintain fair, efficient, and transparent markets. These goals are achieved by the SEC through a variety of activities including setting and enforcing regulations for financial professionals and companies, regulating securities, and overseeing disclosures of important financial data to the public. The SEC is also responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of securities laws and frauds. By promoting integrity, transparency and accountability in financial markets, SEC hopes to boost investor confidence and maintain the stability of securities industry.

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