National Lampoon’s Farcical Market Manipulation

From the SEC complaint against National Lampoon:

The complaint alleges that Laikin and Barsky paid at least $68,000 that went to Rodriguez, Dougherty, and the CW to cause the purchase of at least 87,500 shares of National Lampoon stock. Through these efforts, Laikin and Barsky sought to artificially push National Lampoon’s stock price from under $2 per share to at least $5 per share, in part, to keep the company’s stock price above the minimum listing requirements of the AMEX, and to increase National Lampoon’s ability to enter into possible "strategic partnerships" and acquisitions.

NLN stock hasn’t traded today; it closed yesterday at 73 cents per share. The last time it was over $5 was in October 2001. Its market capitalization is about $7 million; it’s hard to see how the purchase of $150,000 in stock could really increase the value of the company by $40 million. But maybe logic was never a National Lampoon core competency.

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