The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday it was filing stop order proceedings against 20 purported mining companies believed to have included false information in their registration statements.
According to the SEC's Enforcement Division, those registration statements falsely named various individuals who controlled the company, alleging that all were controlled by John Briner, an attorney who was charged with committing a "pump-and-dump" scheme in 2009.
A stop order is designed to prevent the sale of privately held shares to the public under a materially misleading statement. Under such an issue, no new shares can be issued until the statement has been corrected.
Briner was suspended from practicing as an attorney on the behalf of any entity that is regulated by the SEC, the organization said in a statement.