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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked a New York judge to impose a $33-million fine and a permanent penny stock ban on Francisco Abellan, the man accused of running the massive Biozoom Inc. pump-and-dump. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC says that his "cunning, sophistication and greed" led to a scheme that inflicted substantial losses on investors. He carried out the alleged fraud despite a fine that the SEC had imposed on him just four years earlier.
The request from the SEC comes as part of the years-long Biozoom prosecution, with the defendants including former Vancouver securities lawyer Faiyaz Dean. The SEC says that the group was behind a 2013 scheme that boosted Biozoom to a $4.50 high with claims surrounding a personal handheld health scanner. During the scheme, nominee shareholders unloaded $33-million worth of stock, transferring about half of the proceeds to accounts in Cyprus, Switzerland and Belize, the SEC says.
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