Phillip Frost releases statement after being charged with securities fraud

South Florida businessman vows to clear name

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Jeff Tavss - Executive Producer

MIAMI - South Florida businessman Phillip Frost released a statement Friday after being one of a large group of people the Securities and Exchange Commission charged last week with fraudulent stock sales.

"I was stunned by the SEC's lawsuit and deny the allegations it contains against me," Frost said. "It was particularly disturbing that the SEC departed from its own longstanding practice of providing advance notice and a meaningful opportunity to address their questions in advance of filing an action."

According to the SEC, Frost and nine associates manipulated the share price of the stock of three companies during a five-year period from 2013 to 2018, generating over $27 million.

Frost is accused of taking part in two of the three schemes led by Barry Honig.

According to the SEC, the group acquired large amounts of stock at deep discounts, then illegally promoted and manipulated trading to boost the price. Once the market price was inflated, the SEC charges the group dumped its shares into the inflated market.

The SEC claims Frost, the founder of pharmaceutical company OPKO, and the group reaped millions off unsuspecting investors.

"The allegations against me are belied by common sense, my history of supporting promising scientific technology, and the facts," Frost said. "I invested in two of the entities identified in the complaint. These investments were made because I understood the entities presented promising medical developments and a real opportunity to deliver value for shareholders. I remain a significant long-term shareholder in both companies.

"Nothing is more important to me than my integrity and I am deeply proud of the role I have played over many decades in developing medicines and diagnostic tools that have improved many lives. I intend to fight the charges that have been brought against me and will fight to clear my name."

The names of Frost and his wife Patricia are on the new Museum of Science in Downtown Miami, as well as the art museum on the campus of Florida International University. 

The Frost family donated $35 million to the construction of the science museum, with an additional $10 million for the construction of a planetarium.

A museum spokesperson released a statement last week, saying the museum is grateful for the Frosts' generosity. 

Frost also serves on the board of trustees at the University of Miami.

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