The National Association of Securities Dealers has fined a stock analyst $75,000 for what the regulatory group labeled “a false and sensational rumor” about RF Micro in 2002.
In a press release, the NASD, a private sector provider of financial regulatory services, said Walter Piecyk, Jr. of Harrison, NY passed on a rumor that Nokia was delaying an order from RF Micro, a developer of radio frequency integrated circuits.
Piecyk neither denied nor agreed to the charges in agreeing to the settlement.
The Associated Press reported that the fine was the first administered by the NASD to a stock analyst.
NASD said Piecyk “did not conduct a reasonable inquiry into whether there was a basis for the rumor”. He told others the rumor with instant messages and telephone calls “to at least eight” of institutional clients for Fulcrum Global Partners of New York, where he worked.
Fulcrum was fined earlier for lack of oversight of Piecyk, the AP said.
Piecyk also sold short Micro stock, earning a profit of $7,815.
RF Micro stock, which is based in Greensboro, declined some 10 percent that day “due at least in part to the rumor,” NASD said. Stock trades were normal the daily volume.
Piecyk did not cover RF Micro but did cover the wireless sector.