SEC Catches Californian in Alleged Microcap Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged California resident Charlie Abujudeh with running microcap fraud schemes targeting retail investors.

According to today’s complaint filed today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Abujudeh was part of a group who between August 2019 to at least September 2020 attempted to fraudulently sell several microcap companies’ stock to investors by making misleading statements during high-pressure sales calls and email promotions.

Abujudeh and the others allegedly convinced investors to invest in microcaps such as Odyssey Group International, Scepter Holdings, and CannaPharmaRx. He paid stock promoters to tout Odyssey stock in phone calls with unsuspecting retail investors already recruited through false and misleading representations.  Abujudeh then allegedly paid for email campaigns while attempting to hide his control and sale of the stocks into the increased manufactured demand they paid to produce.

The SEC complaint alleges he generated more than $9 million in illicit proceeds during his funded disinformation campaign and allegedly funnelled some of those gains to an Odyssey insider who was part of the scheme.

“We have charged that Abujudeh’s schemes harmed investors,” said Paul Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office.  “All investors should educate themselves before investing and be particularly cautious when faced with unsolicited calls, high-pressure sales tactics, and promotional email blasts.”

The SEC’s charged Abujudeh with violating federal securities laws pertaining to antifraud and registration provisions. It seeks an order freezing his assets, permanent injunctions, the return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, a penny stock bar, and an officer and director bar.

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