U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22032 / July 11, 2011
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Presto Telecommunications, Inc. and Alfred Louis Vassallo, Jr., United States District Court, Southern District of California, Case No. 04CV00162IEG (filed Jan. 24, 2004).
TELECOMMUNICATIONS STOCK PROMOTER ALFRED LOUIS “BOBBY” VASSALLO, JR. INDICTED FOR WIRE FRAUD
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that, at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, California, returned an indictment against Alfred Louis “Bobby” Vassallo, Jr. on July 6, 2011 charging him with three felony counts of wire fraud. Vassallo, age 61, is a resident of La Jolla, California.
The indictment charges Vassallo with making false representations to an investor in connection with an investment in a wireless communication venture including failing to disclose that he had been sued by the Commission and that a permanent injunction and monetary judgment had been entered against him in the Commission’s action. United States of America v. Alfred Louis Vassallo, Jr. aka “Bobby Vassallo,” U. S. District Court, Central District of California, case no. 8:11-CR-00150 (filed July 6, 2011).
The Commission filed a civil complaint against Vassallo and his former company, Presto Telecommunications, Inc., in the U. S. District Court, Southern District of California, on January 27, 2004 that charged Vassallo with violating the securities registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws for his role in perpetrating a fraudulent scheme through Presto, which raised approximately $26 million from more than 500 investors. The Court entered a Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction and Other Relief against Vassallo on August 24, 2005 that permanently enjoined him from violating the securities registration and antifraud provisions and ordered him to pay a total of $2,009,082 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and the costs and expenses of the permanent receiver for Presto.
The Commission filed an application for an order to show cause re civil contempt against Vassallo on September 21, 2010 which alleged that Vassallo violated the Final Judgment by offering and selling unregistered securities of wireless ventures and telecommunications companies, by committing fraud in connection with the offer and sale of those securities, and by failing to pay any of the monetary relief he was ordered to pay. The Court issued an order to show cause on September 24, 2010 why Vassallo should not be held in civil contempt of the Final Judgment. The Court issued an order on October 26, 2011 referring Vassallo’s alleged violations of the permanent injunction to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California for prosecution for criminal contempt. The Court subsequently stayed the civil contempt proceeding.
For further information, see Litigation Release Nos. 18554 (January 28, 2004), 18616 (March 9, 2004), 18858 (August 26, 2004), 19368 (September 9, 2005), 21662 (September 24, 2010), and 21710 (October 27, 2010).