Alabama Securities Commission

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State securities officials say cybercrime including email attacks are on the rise during the pandemic.

A statement from the Alabama Securities Commission says social engineering attacks have been increasing with more people working at home and children using virtual learning because of the coronavirus outbreak. Commission Director Joe Borg says information is more accessible than ever, leading to potential problems.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A Tennessee man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraudulently soliciting approximately $74,500 from five Alabama investors.

WAAY-TV reports 58-year-old Edwin Eugene Blalack was sentenced Thursday and ordered to return the $74,500 to investors. He pleaded guilty in May to securities fraud.

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Looking back, there are so many reasons Kyle Sandler was able to separate so many people from so much of their money.

Sandler rolled into this old railroad crossroads at a time when Opelika — and nearly every other city in America — was trying to bounce back from the Great Recession. Opelika's downtown, dating to the late 1800s, was dotted with vacant buildings. The city of 30,000 people needed a boost.

Victor Gaston
Albert Cesare / Montgomery Advertiser

Acting Alabama House Speaker Victor Gaston says he isn’t interested in making that title any more permanent.

The Mobile Republican representative announced yesterday that he will not be a candidate for speaker. Gaston says he was grateful to the colleagues and friends who encouraged him to seek the post. He says he will dedicate his remaining time as acting speaker to making sure all the various House functions run smoothly.

The Alabama Senate is trying to give people a new way to raise money to start small businesses.

The Senate voted 31-0 Thursday for a "crowd funding" bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur.

The legislation is backed by the Alabama Securities Commission. It would allow someone trying to start a small business in Alabama to use social media and advertising to find small investors who live in the state. It is limited to raising $1 million, and it is restricted to Alabama businesses and investors because of federal regulations.

Alabama Securities Commission

Alabamians trying to start small businesses in a tough credit market may soon have a new method that will allow them to raise small amounts of capital from many Alabama investors.

Republican state Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur says he will sponsor a bill in the upcoming legislative session to allow "crowd funding." It would cap investors at $5,000 each and would limit crowd funding to $1 million per business.

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  The Wolf of Wall Street hits theaters this week. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jordan Belfort, a high powered stock broker who was later indicted for securities fraud. That may sound like a fictional story from the world of Hollywood. But, the story of Jordan Belfort, who was indicted on securities fraud for stock market manipulation and running a penny stock boiler room is painfully true.

Sean Marshall / Flickr

A Canadian executive is free on bond in Alabama, and his attorney predicts the case will be resolved positively once all the facts are provided.

Gregory Aziz, the chairman and CEO of National Steel Car Ltd. of Hamilton, Ontario, was released by a Colbert County judge on $1 million bond Thursday. Aziz posted $250,000 in cash and will forfeit the remainder if he fails to appear in court.

Sean Marshall / Flickr

An Alabama grand jury has indicted the chairman of National Steel Car on securities fraud charges.

The indictment made public Friday accuses Gregory Aziz of Hamilton, Canada, of misleading officials with Alabama's state pension program to get financing for a rail car manufacturing plant that was never finished in northwest Alabama. The 10-count indictment claims Aziz misled officials about how much the plant would cost.

Aziz's attorney, Joe Espy, says they are reviewing the charges and hopeful that they can be resolved.

dentbaker.com

Birmingham accountant James L. Hart has been elected chairman of the Alabama Securities Commission.

A member of the regulating board since December 2010, Hart was selected unanimously for the leadership position by fellow commissioners.

Hart leads the forensic accounting and litigation services decision at the Birmingham firm of Dent, Baker & Co.

Hart, a native of Huntsville, was first appointed to the commission by former Gov. Bob Riley. Hart's current term ends in 2014.