Miami billionaire, museum donor named in stock scheme

A Miami biotech billionaire with his name on the city's science museum has been charged in a market-manipulation scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday that OPKO Health founder and CEO Phillip Frost and nine others participated in long-running fraudulent schemes that generated more than $27 million from unlawful stock sales and caused significant harm to retail investors who were left holding virtually worthless stock.

An SEC complaint says a South Florida-based group manipulated the share price of the stock of three companies from 2013 to 2018. The complaint says Frost participated in two of the schemes.

Frost and his wife donated $45 million to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, which opened last year in downtown Miami.

An OPKO statement says the SEC complaint contains serious factual inaccuracies that could have been addressed if investigators had contacted Frost and the company before filing the complaint.