From June of 2016 to the Summer of 2018, Steve Muehler was a party to a Lawsuit brought by the United States Securities & Exchange Commission in regards to the Alternative Securities Market Exchange (the "ASMX").
At the time of the Lawsuit, Steve Muehler, along with the ASMX, was the leading Public / Private Offering Underwriter for Regulation A+ Tier I and Regulation A+ Tier II Securities Offerings in the United States (filed & qualified by the SEC).
The Lawsuit focused on the ASMX and the Regulation A+ Securities that "were to be traded" (not yet available for trade) on the ASMX, and how the Securities were being advertised to the public (generic press release).
The point of the SEC was that to operate the ASMX and offer the Regulation A+ Securities that Steve Muehler (and his associates at the ASMX) needed to be registered as Broker Dealers. Steve Muehler argued that since the ASMX was only accessible by Institutional Investors and not retail investors, and since the securities were only offered by their issuers to institutional investors, that a Broker Dealer Registration was not required.
In the end, and after two long years of back-and-forth, the ball did not land in our court and it was found that the ASMX was required to be registered as a Broker Dealer. Though it was (and still is) a tough lesson, it did lay the framework for what is today the Private Placement Markets. All required modifications were implemented, questionable operations were ceased, and today all aspects of the Private Placement Markets (a spinoff of the ASMX) operates in full compliance with all of today's industry regulations.
No member of the Private Placement Markets engages in any form of activities that would require registration as a Broker Dealer. Any operation that would require the engagement of a Broker Dealer, the Private Placement Markets will make all necessary introductions to a FINRA Registered Broker Dealer.
An important fact about this Civil Lawsuit with the SEC, not a single dime of investment dollars were lost, and all Issuers who had SEC Qualified Regulation A+ Offerings were able to engage with FINRA Registered Broker Dealers of their choosing.
Steven J. Muehler