U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 22072 / August 25, 2011
SEC v. Peter W. Fisher, et al.,
Civil Action No. 07-cv-12552 GER PJK (E.D. Mich. filed June 14, 2007)
ATTORNEY BARRED FROM FUTURE PENNY STOCK OFFERINGS
The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained substantial relief against Texas securities lawyer Phillip W. Offill, Jr. arising out of his participation in a fraudulent “pump-and-dump” scheme in which hundreds of thousands of shares of penny stock were unloaded into the public markets. In a judgment against Offill entered on August 19, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan permanently barred Offill from participating in any offering of penny stock. The court also prohibited Offill and his company, Collective Thought Holdings, Inc., from offering or selling shares in violation of the registration provisions of the federal securities laws, and ordered Offill to pay $5,000 in disgorgement.
In April, the court entered a consent judgment against co-defendant Peter W. Fisher enjoining him against violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the securities laws, prohibiting him from serving as an officer or director of a public company and from participating in offerings of penny stocks for five years, and requiring him to pay a civil penalty of $25,000. The Commission had previously settled charges against Arizona securities lawyer David P. Stocker for his role in the scheme.
In April 2010, Offill was sentenced to eight years in prison 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 had returned a verdict against Offill in January 2010, finding him guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. Offill was also required to pay a money judgment of more than $4.8 million that he and others received in the scheme.
The Commission suspended Offill from practicing as an attorney before the Commission in June 2010.
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), 21050 (May 19, 2009), and 21508 (Apr. 28, 2010).
Order of Forthwith Suspension Pursuant to Rule 102(e)(2) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice (June 23, 2010).