Former auto worker and hot dog vendor Marco Glisson agreed on Wednesday to pay $4.8 million to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had engaged in unauthorized securities trading.
Without admitting or denying guilt, Glisson must within 14 days pay the SEC $2.8 million in profits from trading the stock of a delisted Las Vegas company, $670,000 in interest and a $1.4 million civil penalty. The deal was signed just as trial in the three-year-old case was to start in front of U.S. District Court Judge Lloyd George.
The timing of the collection, however, could be complicated by Glisson's personal bankruptcy filing in Florida last week. In it, he lists about $3,000 in assets and a $3,000 monthly pension income. In court, Glisson said he resides in Naples, Fla., but also has a house in Las Vegas.
According to court papers, Glisson was an assembly line worker at a General Motors plant in Janesville, Wis., and also helped out at the Deli Dog House restaurant owned by his former wife. About eight years ago, he decided to purchase stock in Las Vegas-based CMKM Diamonds, which supposedly owned several mining interests but never showed any profits from operations.
The SEC delisted the penny-stock company in 2005, but Glisson continued to buy and sell billions of CMKM shares through 2007, making himself known through Internet chatrooms. Glisson never dealt with any other company.
According to Glisson attorney Frederick Santacroce, he did little more than fit the profile of the typical day trader, not a broker or dealer falling under SEC purview.
"The word just really got around (through chatrooms) that, if someone wanted to buy or sell CMKM stock and did not have any other way to accomplish (it), they could contact (Glisson) an see if he was interested," Santacroce wrote in pleading. "Sometimes (Glisson) was interested, other times we was not interested."
But the SEC argued that his involvement went far beyond his personal account, as he effectively became his own clearinghouse and set the buy and sell prices so he could profit on the spread. During one 15-month stretch he generated $4.4 million in revenues, the SEC said.
"This case represents the SEC efforts to protect the public from unregistered broker dealers," said SEC staff attorney John Bulgozdy.
Contact reporter Tim O'Reiley at email@example.com or 702-387-5290.