[Bloomberg] The Justice Department will recommend as much as a 75% reduction in fines for companies that voluntarily report wrongdoing to the government and fully cooperate with investigations.
Even companies that don’t voluntarily disclose wrongdoing but still fully cooperate with investigations could still get a 50% reduction off the low end of the guidelines for fines, the head of the department’s criminal division said Tuesday.
“The policy is sending an undeniable message: come forward, cooperate, and remediate,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said in a speech at Georgetown University Law Center.
Polite made it clear that cooperators seeking declination will be held to a higher standard than your average or even gold-standard cooperator — the cooperation must be “truly extraordinary.”
The Justice Department will distinguish extraordinary cooperation by assessing the immediacy, consistency, degree, and impact of the cooperation.
Prosecutors will expect companies to cooperate immediately, consistently tell the truth, and hand over evidence that the DOJ otherwise would not be likely to obtain, such as quick access to electronic device images, audio/video recordings, trial testimony, and other kinds of cooperation that “produces results.”
The policy also covers corporations conducting business internationally, as the changes will apply to all corporate matters handled by the Criminal Division, including all Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases nationwide.
Notably, the new policy is the third in a trilogy of Department of Justice memoranda addressing the prosecution of corporate misconduct and setting forth revised policies concerning the effect of cooperation by companies that have engaged in wrongdoing.
Years of Ongoing Investigations
The new policy was announced to further Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco’s October 2021 memorandum directing the creation of a Corporate Crime Advisory Group within the Department to recommend guidance concerning, in part, the nature of a company’s dealings with the government required to receive cooperation credit in resolving company misconduct, and to consider revisions and reforms to the Department’s approach to corporate crime prosecution.
The new policy also follows less than five months after the issuance of a memorandum further clarifying the Department of Justice’s policy against seeking a guilty plea where a corporation has voluntarily self-disclosed, fully cooperated, and timely and properly remediated the conduct at issue in the absence of aggravating factors and directing all department components, including the 93 U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, to review its policies on corporate voluntary self-disclosure and ensure it has a publicly available written policy.
At the same time, the September 2022 memorandum emphasized DOJ’s commitment to “strong corporate criminal enforcement.”
Polite likely had these pronouncements in mind as he concluded his speech. He entreated corporations to “come forward, cooperate, and remediate,” and to join the Department of Justice as allies in the fight against crime.12 But he also warned: “Failing to take these steps, a company runs the risk of increasing its criminal exposure and monetary penalties.”
Retail investors are occupying the SEC headquarters in Washington D.C. on January 27th and January 28th from 10am-4pm.
The 28th marks the two-year anniversary of the ‘meme stock’ frenzy of 2021 when Robinhood and other brokerage firms prevented investors from buying more shares of GameStop, AMC, and other heavily shorted stock in order to prevent firms from collapsing.
Regulators interfered with the people’s money by suppressing shares from rising.
Majority of investors within these communities never left, but rather hoped for justice and change in the financial system.
Retail investors have raised the issues of dark pools, OTC trading, and a number of conflicts of interest that pin regular investors to the ground.
Discussions surfaced in 2022 of protesting several SEC locations in the U.S. but never came to fruition.
Some retail investors argued against these actions while many more said they are necessary to get their voices heard.
Here’s what’s happening in the retail community today.
What is Occupy SEC 2023?
The objective of occupying the SEC is to demand changes in the financial markets and to protect retail investors and companies from naked short selling and short selling misconduct.
The nationwide protests will occur on January 27th and January 28th between 10am and 4PM at 12 SEC locations, including the SEC headquarters in Washington D.C.
Outrage filled the retail community when SEC Chairman Gary Gensler confirmed 90%-95% of retail orders are processed in off-exchange platforms where the true demand for retail orders is not being reflected on the lit New York Stock Exchange.
The Wall Street ‘watch dogs’ turned a blind eye to the Madoff events that occurred during the last decade and now they’ve turned a blind eye to naked short selling and several conflicts of interest happening today within the media, hedge funds, and even regulators.
Retail investors are saying ‘we know’ what’s happening and ‘we need you to take care of it now’.
Occupy the SEC 2023 are meant to be peaceful protests.
Communities are tired of their investments in their favorite companies plummeting all because they’ve become targets of aggressive short sellers and manipulative tactics from Wall Street.
Now they’re taking the word to the streets despite gaining much attention on social media.
The lack of market transparency since the events that occurred in January of 2021 have led to these protests.
Occupy SEC 2023 LIVE
You can watch Occupy the SEC 2023 LIVE here.
Retail investors chant “do your job” when referring to the inaction from the SEC.
What is Stopping the SEC from Taking Action?
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler told ‘We The Investors’ he understands retail’s frustrations.
But retail investors aren’t convinced.
The SEC Chairman says that short selling is a challenging area where the SEC is still working and pursuing focus on.
One of the biggest challenges according to Chairman Gensler is that Wall Street powers will send stacks of reports highlighting rebuttals on proposals aimed towards protecting retail investors.
This is primarily because certain proposals aimed to protect retail investors conflict with Wall Street money.
And because these firms are market participants, like retail investors, these documents must be legally reviewed.
The challenge only grows when Wall Street firms open lawsuits against the SEC when certain proposals become a direct hinderance to the way these companies perform.
Regulators are in a massive bind now, facing scrutiny from both Wall Street and the average investor.
FINRA, DTCC Under Retail Scrutiny
FINRA has received backlash after freezing the trading of MMTLP (Meta Materials) prior to its spinoff.
The self-regulated organization is also responsible for outsourcing ‘best execution’ with the best execution rule, according to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler.
This means FINRA has the power to execute orders in off-exchange and dark markets for ‘best execution’ and ‘price discovery’.
But Gary Gensler says that this rule is too important for it to not be in the SEC’s court.
The organization contains records of every trade made available intraday, including that of naked short sales.
FINRA requires firms to be able to meet their short sale requirements as well as have a process to close out fails to deliver within their required timeframes.
However, they’re the open window that allows these manipulative strategies to occur in the market.
FTDS (fails-to-deliver) are mounting up every month according to SEC data, and FINRA is unable to get firms to close out these obligations.
FINRA’s justification towards FTDs say that firms face challenges related to miscalculations.
But Chairman Gensler says this is too important for it to not be handled directly by he and his team.
DTCC Conflicts of Interest
David Inggs is Global Head of Operations at Citadel and is responsible for all products across asset servicing, billing, cash management, clearing, and has a board seat at the DTCC.
The conflict of interest has raised big concerns amongst the retail investor community online as Citadel has been a leading and one of the biggest short sellers in the stock market.
On January 28th, 2021, The DTCC waived $9.7 billion of collateral deposit, limiting institutional losses and limiting retail profits during the ‘meme stock’ frenzy.
The organization allowed several naked shares to flood the market prior to the massive jump in share prices only to help financial institutions in the end.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has said one proposal they’re looking at this year involves tackling conflicts of interest in the financial markets.
How can investors support the cause?
Retail investors have been supporting the cause for years now by distributing news and information that sheds light on real issues.
Franknez.com is a media blog that supports retail investors and protects the retail community from mainstream media propaganda.
You can raise awareness in your community by sharing this article, and others, or by using hashtag #OccupySEC2023 on social media.
Advisory: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. This article is not advocating violence of any kind during these peaceful rallies.
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CEO Adam Aron said Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse have extended AMC’s covenant waiver to March 31st of 2024.
“This is a reflection of AMC’s recovery being well under way… a vote of confidence in AMC by our banks that we much welcome. Thank you Citi, Goldman, and Credit Suisse”, said AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) CEO Adam Aron on Wednesday.
So, what exactly is a covenant waiver extension and what does this mean for AMC Entertainment?
What is a Covenant Waiver?
A covenant waiver is when a lender temporarily forgives a borrower’s breach of a loan covenant.
In AMC’s case, the lenders are Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse.
Debt covenants are restrictions that lenders (creditors, debt holders, investors) put on lending agreements to limit the actions of the borrower (debtor), AMC Entertainment.
In other words, debt covenants are agreements between a company (AMC) and its lenders (Citi, Goldman, Credit Suisse) that the company will operate within certain rules set by the lenders.
Should a borrower violate a covenant, such as not maintaining a certain interest coverage ratio or engaging in unpermitted business activities, it may constitute a loan default, per The Balance.
Financial Covenants Explained
Covenant requirements are conditions the borrower must regularly meet throughout the term to demonstrate their creditworthiness to the lender.
Lenders frequently use certain financial tests that serve as indicators of the borrower’s repayment ability.
Failure to meet these tests violates the covenant and constitutes loan default.
In AMC Entertainment’s case, lenders have waived, or forgiven AMC’s breach of contract, per their loan covenant and extended it to March 31st 2024.
What Does This Mean for AMC Entertainment?
For AMC Entertainment, a covenant waiver will allow the business to run operations under its debt contracts with Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse until 2024.
If the company fails to meet its debt obligations, or financial covenant requirements, then the loans are subject to default.
This puts AMC Entertainment in a tricky position in terms of what they can and cannot do or say.
Which also explains why the CEO cannot raise awareness of the manipulative shorting of the company stock.
It’s very likely that speaking out on such topics may violate these covenant agreements.
“They’re predators. They’re doing something illegal, and we want it to stop”, says GNS CEO Roger Hamilton.
The Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Genius Group Limited (NYSE American: GNS), a leading entrepreneur edtech and education group, approved at a meeting of the Board held on Wednesday 18th January 2023, an action plan to address illegal short selling of its stock.
This action plan includes creating a Board-led ‘Illegal Trading Task Force’ to actively pursue all possible actions together with the regulators in their discovery and prosecution of persons engaging in market manipulation involving the ordinary shares of Genius Group.
This Task Force will be led by Timothy Murphy, a Genius Group Director and former Deputy Director of the F.B.I., Richard Berman, also a Genius Group Director and chair of the Company’s Audit Committee, and Roger Hamilton, the CEO of Genius Group.
The Company has been in communication with government regulatory authorities and is sharing information with these authorities to assist them.
Retail investors on social media are supporting Genius Group’s CEO Roger Hamilton in his efforts to expose and bring down manipulative short selling.
The retail community has voiced their concerns with dark pool trading, OTC trading, and naked short selling in prominent companies such as AMC Entertainment, GameStop, Mullen Automotive, Biora Therapeutics, Meta Materials, and many more.
“It’s like being robbed in a library, but you can’t shout ‘Thief!’ because there are ‘Silence, please’ signs everywhere.” – Roger Hamilton, CEO of Genius Group Limited.
Speaking Out on Naked Short Selling
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne spoke out against naked short selling in 2007 but was ridiculed and eventually investigated himself by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Elon Musk has commented on not just the SEC but has said at one point Tesla was the most shorted company in the market.
In a CNBC exclusive, Elon Musk says hedge funds have used short selling and complex derivatives to take advantage of retail investors.
Something retail investors who purchased so called ‘meme stocks’ in 2021 found out very easily.
A tactic where hedge funds impose their influence on corporate media such as The Fool, Wall Street Journal, and MarketWatch to scare people out of their money, then short the stock to capitalize on selloffs.
Is Roger Hamilton the new voice for retail?
The retail community certainly seems to think so.
Unlike Patrick Byrne, who unfortunately didn’t have the massive support he deserved, Roger Hamilton has many large retail communities made up of millions of people supporting the cause.
Social media has allowed retail investors to voice their opinions and concerns regarding the manipulation of their favorite companies.
Citizen journalism platforms, such as FrankNez and Rebel News have helped spread awareness surrounding people’s concerns.
Should New Regulators Be Put in Place?
Retail investors are convinced FINRA, the DTCC, and the SEC are complicit in the market manipulation that occurs in these companies.
The Intercept wrote a piece on Hester Peirce in 2015 titled, “SEC Nominee To Oversee Wall Street Works At Think Tank Dedicated To Blocking Regulation.”
And according to the research, Hester Peirce received 98% of her salary from the Mercatus Center, a “think tank” that provides an academic façade to a radical anti-regulatory agenda.
What does the GNS CEO have to say about our regulators?
The company is fighting back “because we want this to stop,” Hamilton told MarketWatch. “They’re taking value away from our shareholders. They’re predators. They’re doing something illegal, and we want it to stop, whether that means getting regulators to enforce existing regulations or put new ones in place.”
Should more companies fight naked short selling like GNS CEO Roger Hamilton?
GNS CEO Roger Hamilton is bringing the fight to Wall Street and regulators.
The retail community has his back, the question is, will other CEOs step in?
Many shareholders in the AMC community have urged the company’s CEO Adam Aron to speak out against the illicit activities occurring in the company stock.
The CEO has mocked short sellers but hasn’t taken an activist stance, yet.
Should more companies fight naked short selling?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Leave a comment down below.
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“Since reopening our first theatres with AMC Safe & Clean in August, AMC has welcomed back nearly 10 million moviegoers nationwide without a single reported case of COVID-19 transmission among moviegoers at our theatres. We look forward to welcoming back our New York City guests to the big seats, big sounds and big screens that are only possible at a movie theatre.”
Adam aron, President and CEO of AMC Entertainment
For those who thought AMC was a dead company, think again.
The company is now generating big revenue since it’s reopening and has beat every quarter since 2021.
Positive News for AMC Entertainment (Archive 2021)
AMC Entertainment has raised more than 2.2 billion dollars in cash
90% of AMC theaters in the United States are now open with New York and Los Angeles finally reopening
Vaccinations and policies are making movie theaters safe
New movie titles are guaranteed to increase sales revenues
CEO and President Adam Aron expresses an optimistic future for AMC Entertainment
AMC Entertainment has implemented a Safe & Clean program under the advisement from Harvard University’s prestigious School of Public health as well as well as the No. 1 U.S. cleaning brand, The Clorox Company. This means movie goers can now return at ease knowing a proper sanitation program has been put in place.
Hedge fund affiliate partners such as MarketWatch, The Fool, and other finance website have been trying to redirect the public from investing in this stock.
That’s primarily because hedge funds are losing millions by the day.
A short squeeze could even put them out of business.
This is why it’s important and always has been for me to spread any positive news surrounding AMC.
I don’t believe in the manipulation of the media and I will continue to update these articles as more great news unfolds.
Experts, analysts, and shareholders can’t identify an exact date and time.
However, the possibility of an AMC short squeeze is certainly possible given that it is still a very heavily shorted stock.
We also now have more data then ever before that indicate a massive short squeeze is almost certain to happen.
Especially now that the SEC has announced some crackdown on shorting.
With Melvin Capital and other hedge funds out of the picture, it’s only a matter of time before others close their positions.
It’s tendie time!
Analyst AMC predictions (2021 Archive)
With that being said, Trey’s Trades predicted a short squeeze in 2021. Trey has been a leader in the AMC community, though he’s recently taken time off from stock content on YouTube.
Data points towards AMC stock reaching $1000+ per share.
See what Trey had to say.
The real question is, how can retail investors make this AMC short squeeze happen?
We know that short-sellers eventually have to close their positions. This means that they will eventually have to buy AMC stock at the current share price.
If retail investors continue to drive the share price up by buying the dip and holding their positions, short-sellers will have no other option than to buy from the retail investor at a higher share price.
2. Retail investors will also need to buy the climbs in order to show a demand for the stock. This doesn’t have to be huge buys, rather incremental to validate the current share price.
This play essentially creates a supply and demand scenario between retail investors and short-sellers.
The results? A short squeeze.
Just make sure to take your profits.
The last thing you want is to see your gains turn into losses.
Hedge funds are doing everything they can to prevent a short squeeze
How are they doing this?
By promoting false information online (we’re certain you’ve seen it)
Through strategies such as short-ladder attacks in the market
And, by restricting certain brokerage accounts from allowing its retail investors to purchase or buy shorted stocks (Robing hood)
This is what retail investors can do to fight corruption:
Share content that presents facts (blog posts, analysis videos, etc.)
Continue to educate yourself and make investment decisions based on your personal analysis
If an AMC short squeeze doesn’t occur, AMC stock price will still go up allowing shareholders to make at least some sort of profit.
That is, for those whose majority of shares were purchased at today’s current lows.
With AMC theaters now open, it’s inevitable that the company will begin to see bigger sales revenue every time a new title is released.
Keep in mind that AMC’s share price during the booming party economy of 16′ was roughly around $30 per share.
If a short squeeze doesn’t happen, fundamentals will continue to bring the stock up as more investors are buying the stock.
However, a short squeeze not happening is very unlikely as AMC is currently still one of the most heavily shorted stock in the market and most held stock, beating both Apple (AAPL) and Tesla (TSLA), via. NASDAQ.
Majority of the float is also held by retail investors, so the company has a huge support.
AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) stock is up more than +40% this year-to-date.
New developments this year may send share prices rising throughout 2023.
Streaming giants have figured out that the theatrical experience is key to their long-term success.
AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron praised Disney for scheduling Stephen King’s ‘The Boogeyman’ to be released theatrically on June 2nd, 2023.
The film was originally planned to be released on the streaming service Hulu.
“Theatres beat streamers! We salute producer 21Laps and our friends at Disney for this decision. The Boogeyman, a Stephen King adaption, was made for Hulu. But it tested so well, Disney is releasing it theatrically instead. Thank you Bob Iger, Alan Bergman, Justin, Tony, and Ken,” said Adam Aron on Twitter.
On the other end, CNBC says Netflix left $200 million on the table for not leaving Daniel Craig’s ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ in theatres longer.
So, what does this say about the Wall Street short thesis that movie theatres are dead?
Here’s the latest AMC Entertainment stock market news.
Online Streaming Might Not Be What Wall Street Hoped For
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery starring Daniel Craig was released in the U.S. as well as the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Spain.
CEO Adam Aron stated on Twitter that success here could lead to more Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) movies at AMC.
The film earned $15 million at the box office but CNBC says the showing could have made $200 million if it had been kept in theatres longer.
The sequel to Johnson’s popular “Knives Out” opened in nearly 700 theaters, the largest release of any Netflix original film to date, 200 of which were AMC Entertainment theatres.
Unfortunately for the online streaming platform, hundreds of millions of dollars were left on the table.
Box office analysts say Glass Onion could have earned much higher earnings if Netflix had opted for a traditional wide release of 2,000 to 4,000 theaters.
What Are Experts Saying?
CNBC stated, “Netflix has backtracked on its previous policies, including by introducing an ad-supported subscription option, leading many to wonder whether the company should rethink its resistance to the traditional Hollywood movie release model as it looks for new ways to grow revenue. “
While there are still short sellers betting against the equity, AMC Entertainment has warned both retail investors of possible and significant losses due to volatility and the possibility of a short squeeze.
Are you holding shares of AMC’s Preferred Equity (APE)?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section of the blog below.
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Franknez.com is the media blog that keeps retail investors informed.