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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil fraud charges against Vancouver lawyer Faiyaz Dean and others for the manipulation of Biozoom Inc., a former OTC Bulletin Board listing. The SEC claims that the group made $34-million while boosting a purported skin health product. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Mr. Dean's role included hiding the fact that his co-defendants had large, illegally acquired share positions, the SEC says.
The allegations are contained in a civil complaint that the SEC filed in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, May 15. The complaint identifies Mr. Dean, 40, as a lawyer licensed to practice in British Columbia and Washington State. (His law firm, Dean Law Corp., has offices in Vancouver and Seattle.) His co-defendants are Guillermo Ciupiak, 35, of Spain; Francisco Abellan Villena, 47, of Spain; and James Panther Jr., 45, of California.
The scheme, as described by the SEC, goes back to December, 2010, when Mr. Ciupiak contacted Mr. Dean looking to take a company public. The SEC says that Mr. Dean located a suitable shell, for which the men paid $430,000. According to the complaint, Mr. Dean structured the deal so that Mr. Abellan and Mr. Ciupiak controlled all of the shares of the resulting company, which became Biozoom. Through a series of fraudulent share purchase agreements, Mr. Dean arranged for some of the stock to be held in the names of Argentine nominees, the SEC says.
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