A Santa Monica-based stock promoter has been charged with fraudulently raising nearly $3.5 million from investors to purchase Facebook and Twitter stocks before their initial public offerings. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that instead of purchasing shares in the secondary market as promised, Efstratios "Elias" Argyropoulos and his firm Prima Capital Group, used the money for day trading of stocks and to pay off certain investors who said they did not receive the shares they were promised. Argyropoulos agreed to settle the charges and be barred as a broker-dealer, with financial penalties due out at a later date. The SEC also announced administrative proceedings against Khaled Eldaher, who while working for a registered broker-dealer, reached a side agreement with Argyropoulos to solicit investors and receive half of the mark-up on Facebook shares he sold. Lawyers for both were not available.
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