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SEC charges Alpine Securities over failure to file suspicious activity reports

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a Salt Lake City-based brokerage firm, Alpine Securities Corp., with securities law violations related to its alleged practice of clearing transactions for microcap stocks that were used in manipulative schemes to harm investors.

The regulator said that Alpine Securities routinely and systematically failed to file suspicious activity reports for stock transactions. When the company later filed its suspicious activity reports, it frequently omitted the significant information that formed the basis for Alpine knowing, suspecting or having reason to suspect that a transaction was suspicious.

The complaint also alleged that Alpine Securities deprived regulators and law enforcement of critically important information often related to trades in microcap securities used to investigate potentially serious misconduct by failing to file the suspicious activity reports.