Internet

SEC suit targets alleged Web stock fraud

The commission says a California man misled investors about planned public offerings and lied about investments from tech companies including Oracle and Microsoft.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed suit to stop a California man from raising money for his Internet companies, saying he misled investors about planned public offerings and lied about investments from tech companies including Oracle and Microsoft.

The SEC accused Alexander Naujoks of Chatsworth, Calif., of raising nearly $3 million in investments since 1999 by making cold calls and promising investors that the companies were going public in 30 to 90 days, the investment window was about to close, the investments would triple in value immediately, and the companies had secured investments from technology giants.

On Friday, the SEC said those claims were not true and that none of the companies had the means to go public. The agency also said it had investigated the companies with the help of the FBI. It sought an emergency court order in federal court in Los Angeles to stop Naujoks and his activities related to the companies Exectrek, ACSports.com and World Markets Group.

Naujoks told investors that Exectrek was an online reservations system, ACSports.com was an online sports league, and World Markets Group was an investment bank that had been in business since 1995, the SEC said.

Naujoks could not be reached for comment.

The Web has become a hotbed for securities fraud in recent years. In one of the most famous cases, a student who had shorted Emulex stock posted a false press release giving damaging information about the company's earnings.