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SEC defendant Bongiorno protests Petroteq charges

2020-08-06 17:19 ET - Street Wire

Also Street Wire (C-PQE) Petroteq Energy Inc

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by Mike Caswell

Christopher Bongiorno, responding to civil charges he faces from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a cold-calling operation that touted TSX Venture Exchange listing Petroteq Energy Inc., has asked that a judge dismiss the more serious aspects of the case. He says that there is nothing to indicate a "single incident of fraudulent conduct" on his part. In particular, he claims that his use of an alias is not evidence of wrongdoing.

Mr. Bongiorno is responding to a case that the SEC is pursuing against him and another man for a scheme in which they touted Petroteq and a company called U.S. Lighting Group Inc. Over a three-year period, the men raised millions of dollars for the companies using false names and while failing to disclose their compensation, the SEC claims. The men realized a combined $3.53-million in gains, the SEC says. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)

In a motion filed in federal court in Ohio on July 27, 2020, Mr. Bongiorno contends that the SEC's case falls far short of properly alleging securities fraud. According to the motion, the SEC has hinged many of the allegations on Mr. Bongiorno's use of a false name, John Powers. The regulator has not, however, explained how using an alias on its own amounted to fraud, Mr. Bongiorno complains. As he sees things, the use of a pseudonym would not be a material factor in an investor's decision.

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