The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that U.S. regulators have sued veteran Bay Street stock promoter Andrew DeFrancesco, alleging he orchestrated a fraudulent pump-and-dump scheme in 2018 with the shares of a small Nasdaq-listed tech company called Cool Holdings Inc.
The Globe's David Milstead writes that the Securities and Exchange Commission's suit also names Mr. DeFrancesco's ex-wife Catherine, two former company executives and Mr. DeFrancesco's personal assistant at the time as defendants.
The SEC, which alleges Mr. DeFrancesco sold $8-million worth of Cool Holdings stock, is seeking a return of profits, monetary penalties and a permanent ban on Mr. De Frances co-serving as the director or officer of a company registered with the SEC (all figures U.S.). In 2017, Mr. DeFrancesco took a shell company with no business operations and merged it with a struggling Nasdaq-listed smart phone company and named itself Cool Holdings. In one week in mid-September 2018, Cool Holdings stock caught fire, rising from $5.18 to trade as high as $22.61. At the time, Cool Holdings was the subject of a series of promotional articles. The articles touted ties to Apple and claiming its stores earned fantastic profits.
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