- Boiler room (business)
The term boiler room in business refers to a busy center of activity, often selling questionable goods by telephone. It typically refers to a room where salesmen work, selling
stocks, and using unfair, dishonest sales tactics, sometimes selling penny stockor committing outright stock fraud. The term carries a negative connotation, and is often used to imply high-pressure sales tactics and sometimes, poor working conditions.
A boiler room usually has an undisclosed relationship with the company being promoted or undisclosed profit from the sale of the
house stockthey are promoting. When a small company is looking for financing, it looks to an investment bank to raise capital. Usually this is a legal procedure but most boiler rooms perform this function for companies that don't exist. After the managers of the boiler room invest money through the phony company or shell, they can either (A): Underwrite an initial public offering(IPO) or (B): back the phony company into a "shell" company that has gone out of business and no longer trades, usually on the OTC Bulletin Boardor the Pink Sheetsthat carry many small and thinly traded stocks.
The managers of the boiler room usually have close ties to the same owners of the company whose stock is being promoted. After the salesforce of the boiler room sells their clients on the idea of the IPO, they are not allowed to sell the shares that the customer invested. This is because there is no real "market" for the shares, so any shares sold before buyers are attracted would create a large loss in the price of the stock, due to it being thinly traded with no public support. Once the insider investors are in place, a boiler room promotes (via telephone calls to brokerage clients or spam email) these thinly traded stocks where there is no actual market. The brokers of the boiler room actually "create" a market by attracting buyers, whose demand for the stock drives up the price; This gives the owners of the company enough volume to sell their shares at a profit, a form of
pump and dumpoperation where the original investors profit at the expense of the investors taken in by the boiler room operation.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissionpaints the following picture; [ [http://www.sec.gov/investor/links/toptips.htm#boiler "Portrait of a Boiler Room"] ] .
Some traits of a boiler room include presenting only good news about the stock to be sold, and discouraging outside research by customers or brokers working there.
The term is likely to have originated from the cheap, hastily arranged office space used by such firms, often just a few desks in the basement or utility room of an existing office building. The term is a fitting
analogydue to the secretive nature of these firms, the connections with the company they are promoting and the high-pressure nature of their activities.
A fictional "boiler room" brokerage firm was dramatized in the 2000 film "Boiler Room". The play and film
Glengarry Glen Rossshow a similar boiler room operation selling real estate.
* Bucket shop
Microcap stock fraud
Pump and dump
- cite book
last = Stevenson | first = Robert J
title = The Boiler Room and Other Telephone Sales Scams
University of Illinois Press| date = 2000 | location = Chicago
url = http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/67cff7tt9780252069345.html
isbn = 978-0-252-06934-5
last = Lauria
first = Salvatore
coauthors = David S. Barry
title = The Scorpion and the Frog: High Times and High Crimes
publisher = New Millennium Entertainment | year = 2003 | location = Beverly Hills, CA
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=xNcBAAAACAAJ&dq=isbn:9781893224261&ei=iZJKSL6_Nra2iQHl9um3Bg
isbn = 978-1-893-22426-1
* SEC – [http://www.sec.gov/investor/links/toptips.htm#boiler "Portrait of a Boiler Room"]
* FSA – [http://www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk/news/share_Scams.html "Share scams"]
The Motley Foolconsumer website – [http://boards.fool.co.uk/Message.asp?mid=10212932 Boiler Room FAQ]
* This is Money – [http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/investing/article.html?in_article_id=417534&in_page_id=166 "UK court halts boiler room scams"]
Sky News– [http://news.sky.com/skynews/xml/article/0,,91070-1183044978,00.html?f=mf "Anatomy Of A Boiler Room Bust"] – Profiting from shortingthe inflated prices of equities ramped by boiler rooms
The Guardian- [http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/feb/03/scamsandfraud.moneysupplement3 "Lifting the lid on 'boiler room' scams"]
BBC- [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5202550.stm "Boiler room scams"]
- cite book
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