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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil fraud charges against a group of promoters who pitched investors three stocks, including one with a supposed concussion treatment drug and another that was supposedly one of Canada's largest cannabis companies. As misleading tout sheets went out, the group unloaded $9.1-million worth of stock, the SEC claims. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The scheme also featured a Quebec call room.
The charges are contained in a civil complaint that the SEC filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The defendants include Quebec's Fabrizio Di Carlo, 46, a call centre operator who allegedly directed investors to buy while failing to disclose commissions he was receiving. Also defendants are Matthew Nicosia, 48, of Utah; William "Rocky" Reininger, 53, of California; and Ronald Touchard, 63, also of California.
The case, as set out by the SEC, stems in part from the promotion of Odyssey Group International Inc., a supposed biotech listing. According to the SEC, members of the group obtained control over 2.5 million shares of the company in the summer of 2019, with that stock representing nearly all of the tradable shares. Mr. Nicosia and Mr. Reininger both had roles with the company, and had recruited its chief executive officer, the SEC says.
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