|The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday halted trading in Investment Technology Inc. (INZSE), saying there were serious questions about the accuracy of the company's financial statements and press releases.|
Shares in the Las Vegas-based company, which closed at 1.7 cents each on the Bulletin Board on Friday, will be suspended through May 3.
Spencer Barasch from the Commission's Forth Worth, Texas, office told Reuters there were concerns about the continually changing nature of Investment Technology's business.
'Currently they claim they have an online gaming and entertainment business. Previously they have claimed to be developing a golf course community, to operate a longevity center, to be a broker of precious metals and to offer mortgage banking,' Barasch said.
'The company is about three weeks late in filing its annual report and they have a history of being delinquent in this respect,' he added.
Regulators said questions had also been raised about who was in control of the company and press releases touting the possibllity of inflated share prices and growth margins.
The company directed media inquiries about the trading halt to Rosenfeld, Goldman & Ware, an Atlanta-based investment bank.
A Rosenfeld spokesman said Investment Technology had had no contact with the SEC until Monday and the suspension was a routine procedure.
'Bulletin Board companies are always under extra scrutiny. They just want to verify that we will stand behind our press releases,' spokesman Jeremy Jones said.
One press release, dated April 15 and released by Rosenfeld, boasted of record trading volumes in Investment Technology's (INZS) shares and predicted the possibility of a soaring stock price, nearly 300 times the current level.
'The entertainment industry focus has the potential to propel INZS stock price into the $5.00 range, if executed properly,' the release said.
The stock has only traded as high as 8.5 cents over the past 52 weeks and has dipped as low as 1.1 cents.