U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 21508 / April 28, 2010
SEC v. Peter W. Fisher, et al.,
Civil Action No. 07-cv-12552 GER PJK (E.D. Mich. filed June 14, 2007)
SEC v. Phillip W. Offill, Jr., et al.,
Civil Action No. 07-cv-1643-D (N.D. Tex. filed Sept. 26, 2007)
SEC v. David B. Stocker, et al.,
Civil Action No. CIV-08-1475-PHX-FJM (D. Ariz. filed Aug. 11, 2008)
ATTORNEYS SENTENCED IN STOCK MANIPULATION SCHEME
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Texas securities lawyer Phillip W. Offill, Jr. to eight years in prison at a hearing on April 23, 2010. The Department of Justice charged Offill with criminal violations for his participation in a "pump-and-dump" scheme to issue shares to the public illegally while others manipulated the stocks by making materially false and misleading statements in press releases and in spam e-mail messages. A jury returned a verdict against Offill on January 28, 2010, finding him guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. At the sentencing hearing, the court entered a preliminary order requiring Offill to pay a money judgment of more than $4.8 million that he and others received in the scheme. As partial satisfaction of the judgment, the court ordered Offill to forfeit a motorcycle, a sports car, and bank and brokerage accounts that he controls.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also named Offill in two civil injunctive actions currently pending in federal district courts in Michigan and Texas. In the actions, described below, the Commission alleged that Offill violated the registration provisions of the securities laws:
On June 14, 2007, the Commission filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan alleging that Offill and Arizona securities attorney David B. Stocker assisted Michigan-based AVL Global, Inc., in a scheme to dump millions of shares of AVL Global stock into the marketplace without any public disclosure of the company's failing operations.
On September 26, 2007, the Commission filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas alleging that Offill, Stocker, four other individuals, and five entities engaged in a scheme to evade the registration requirements of the federal securities laws in connection with their sales of shares of six public companies.
The Commission's civil actions, which have been stayed pending the criminal proceeding, seek additional remedies from Offill, including disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest, civil penalties, and a bar from participating in any future offerings of penny stock.
The Commission earlier named Offill's co-conspirator, attorney David B. Stocker, in three civil injunctive actions in federal district courts in Arizona, Michigan, and Texas. In the actions, the Commission alleged that Stocker violated the antifraud and registration provisions of the securities laws. In early 2009, Stocker consented to final judgments in the Commission's actions and pleaded guilty to criminal charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. At a sentencing hearing on March 12, 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Stocker to 33 months in prison and ordered him to pay $6.36 million in restitution.
Litigation Release Nos. 20154 (June 14, 2007), 20302 (Sept. 27, 2007), 20681 (Aug. 12, 2008), 20944 (Mar. 11, 2009), 20955 (Mar. 13, 2009), 21049 (May 19, 2009), and 21050 (May 19, 2009)