Officials of Henderson stock transfer firm fined $75,000

The heads of a Henderson-based transfer agent firm were fined $75,000 after failing to disclose financial information with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The owner of Empire Stock Transfer Inc., Patrick Mokros, withheld details about his company’s financial situation when he registered with the SEC, according to an SEC statement. Mokros did not disclose that he relied on someone else to purchase the firm and allowed that financier to play a “significant role” with the company. In a settlement agreement, Mokros agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty.

Matthew Blevins, who oversaw the firm’s finances, failed to update SEC registration forms in a timely manner, the SEC said. Blevins agreed to pay $25,000 to settle with the SEC.

Transfer agents act as liaisons for publicly traded companies, handling the business of stock transactions and keeping shareholder records. Transfer firms are required to register with the SEC and disclose financial ownership and keep that registration up-to-date.

“Transfer agents ensure the orderly transfer of securities, and it’s critical for such gatekeepers to accurately disclose who is financing and controlling their operations,” Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, said in the statement. “Empire’s filings told a different story than what was actually happening behind the scenes.”