SEC Charges Duo For $20M Penny Stock Fraud

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SEC Charges Duo For $20M Penny Stock Fraud

The SEC charged an ex-microcap CEO and a boiler room operator with pressuring senior citizens and other investors to purchase penny stocks in a $20 million fraud. Craig V. Sizer is the former CEO of Sanomedics, which supposedly sold non-contact infrared thermometers, and chairman of software applications company Fun Cool Free, according to the SEC.

The Commission alleges that Sizer hired Miguel “Michael” Mesa and gave him a list of pitch points for use by boiler room agents hired by Mesa to assist in attracting and defraud investors in both companies. The statement claims that investors were promised lucrative profits and were falsely told that their cash would be used for research and development and that there would be no sales commissions.

“We allege that Sizer and Mesa fraudulently touted Sanomedics and Fun Cool Free stocks as profitable investments, while in fact only Sizer and Mesa and the sales agents were profiting at the expense of investors, many of whom were seniors,” Eric Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office, said in the statement.

Sizer and Mesa misappropriated about 90% of the funds raised from investors, enriching themselves and paying sales commissions to the boiler-room agents, said the Commission’s complaint.

Both agreed to be barred from future penny stock offerings, while Sizer also consented to a ban from serving as an officer or director of a public company, the SEC said.

In a related move, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced criminal charges Monday, according to the statement.

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