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Broker Tied To False Harman Report Found Dead

7/27/2009 04:15:43 PM Eastern

Al-Rawdha, Kuwait - A Kuwaiti investment broker sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for spreading false takeover reports to bid up companies' stock prices, including the price of Harman International stock, was found dead in his home here, the Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The SEC charged that Hazem Khalid al-Braikan traded false news reports of a tender offer by a Middle East investment group to acquire Harman at $49.40/share, the SEC said.

"A phony press release publicizing the hoax offer was faxed to media outlets on Sunday, July 19, and subsequently reported on the Internet on Monday, July 20, before the stock market opened," the SEC noted.

Because of the false report, Harman's share price climbed more than 40 percent in pre-market trading from the previous trading day's $25.18. When Harman repudiated the offer shortly before the market opened, the share price dropped sharply and closed the day at $20.86, the SEC said.

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