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by Mike Caswell
Charlie Abujudeh, a California man charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a scheme that included CannaPharmaRx Inc. of Calgary, has agreed to pay $5.05-million to settle the case. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC claimed that Mr. Abujudeh was behind the fraudulent promotions of CannaPharmaRx and two other stocks between August, 2019, and September, 2020. He acquired control of the companies and then paid for promotional materials that touted a stock as having "nearly 150% IMMEDIATE UPSIDE," among other things.
The penalty for Mr. Abujudeh is contained in a proposed judgment filed on Jan. 10, 2023, in federal court in New York. The $5.05-million includes disgorgement of $4.5-million in gains, plus interest, and a $414,366 fine. Mr. Abujudeh has also agreed to a five-year ban from penny stocks and from serving as an officer or director.
For Mr. Abujudeh, the penalties resolve just one of his legal troubles arising from the scheme. He also faces a parallel criminal case, in which authorities arrested him on a charge of conspiracy to use manipulative and deceptive devices. He pleaded guilty to that charge on May 12, 2022, and awaits sentencing.
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