A Park Avenue financial advisor has been barred from the securities industry for allegedly making a $168,000 profit when he inflated Barnes & Noble's share price by saying his firm was going to buy the mega-bookstore, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday.
Michael A. Glickstein and his investment advisory firm, G Asset Management LLC, put out a press release in February 2014 saying they were offering to buy a majority stake in the bookstore, when in fact they had no means to buy the retailer, the SEC says in a civil action. Prior to putting out the release, they had purchased thousands of Barnes & Noble shares and short-term call options. G Asset had $2.6 billion in assets under management, according to the latest ADV filing.
The offer to purchase was for $22 per share. In a matter of seconds after the announcement, Barnes & Noble’s stock price rose from $17.05 per share to $18.99 per share, causing the New York Stock Exchange to temporarily halt trading in the stock.
The SEC’s order further found that G Asset’s investment funds made about $168,000 in profits as a result of their sale of Barnes & Noble stock and options.
Glickstein, G Asset’s owner, president and chief investment officer, agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying the findings, according to the SEC, Under the agreement, Glickstein and his firm will return $175,000 of allegedly ill-gotten gains and interest, according to the SEC. G Asset also agreed to be censured and Glickstein agreed to pay a civil penalty of $100,000 and be barred from the securities industry for a minimum of five years.