The current market leaders could run into some challengers.
Life Partners Holdings, Inc. announced that it has filed suit against optionsXpress, Inc., a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corp., the company's Chief Financial Officer, and one of the company's largest customers for issuing and selling counterfeit shares of Life Partners Holdings stock.
According to a release, the lawsuit, filed in Illinois by California attorney Gary Aguirre, whose practice focuses on market manipulation, asks the Court for an order preventing the Schwab subsidiary from creating and selling shares of Life Partners Holdings' stock which were not authorized by the company. The action also asks the Court for protection from securities fraud, deceptive business practices and civil conspiracy arising from the unlawful issuance of the counterfeit shares.
Under the law of Illinois, Texas, and every other state, a company has the exclusive right to issue and sell its own stock. The creation and sale of counterfeit or "phantom" stock by brokers and their customers violates these laws.
The lawsuit is based on findings in an administrative proceeding by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against optionsXpress and the other defendants which concluded that optionsXpress, its chief financial officer, and one of its biggest customers committed securities fraud by engaging in the sales of hundreds of millions of dollars in counterfeit-phantom stock passed off as the genuine stock of 25 public companies, including almost $5.5 million of counterfeit- phantom stock of Life Partners Holdings, Inc.
Life Partners Holdings CEO Brian Pardo commented, "This case isn't about money. It's about confidence in the market. It's about making sure that, in the future, shareholders can be sure that they are purchasing legitimate, authorized stock. Individual investors need to know that the stock they are buying is real and not phantom stock cooked up by Wall Street insiders. Without a stock certificate, we've seen how easy it is for Wall Street to pass off counterfeit stock in your account as legitimate and we want to put a stop to it."
The company is continuing to investigate other persons and entities who may have engaged in counterfeiting shares of Life Partners Holdings, Inc.
The lawsuit is entitled Life Partners Holdings, Inc. et al. v. optionsXpress, Inc., Jonathan I. Feldman and Thomas E. Stern, Case No. 14CH6428, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Chancery Division. A complete copy of the complaint is available at: http://lphi.com/doc/Release_20140415.pdf
The SEC decision, In the Matter of optionsXpress, Inc., et al. is available on the SEC website at http://sec.gov/alj/aljdec/2013/ id490bpm.pdf.
Life Partners is the world's oldest and one of the most active companies in the United States engaged in the secondary market for life insurance, commonly called "life settlements".
((Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected]))