The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a judgment against a California man who allegedly posted false tweets to boost the price of a security that traded on OTC Markets.
According to the SEC, Andrew L. Fassari used the Twitter name @OCMillionaire to promote shares in Arcis Resources Corporation (ARCS). The SEC’s complaint alleges that, on December 9, 2020, Fassari began purchasing over 41 million shares, soon claiming on Twitter that ARCS was reviving its operations and expanding its business.
The complaint further alleges that, over the next several days, ARCS’s share price skyrocketed, ultimately increasing over by around 4,000%. Fassari then sold all of his shares in ARCS for profits over $929,000, while continuing to publish false and misleading information about ARCS.
ARCS had not conducted any business since 2016 and was defunct, according to the SEC.
Later in December, a previous executive of the company contacted OTC Markets about the trading activity and then in February contacted the SEC. The SEC’s complaint claims that the executive explained:
“The website: arcisresourcescorp.com (became available years ago due to non payment) As there was no need for it. At some point last year someone purchased it to spread false rumors about Arcis. In addition, someone also made up a fake Twitter account to make false statements on Twitter.” and “I believe someone named OCmillionaire on [iHub] & Twitter with several thousands followers purchased shares in the open market with several of his associates. He then purchased the domain name/ made up a fake Twitter account in order to sell shares he had purchased at higher price.”
The SEC alleges that as a result of the trades, Fassari received net profits of approximately $929,693.
Without admitting or denying the allegations of the complaint, Fassari consented to the entry of the judgment. The judgment orders him to pay a disgorgement of $457,110 with prejudgment interest of $8,007, as well as a civil penalty in the amount of $195,047. Fassari also agreed to entry of a penny stock bar with the terms to be determined by the court at a later date.