U. S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18137 / May 14, 2003
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION V. DEAN S. THOMASSEN,
SEC SUES DEAN S. THOMASSEN FOR INTERNET SECURITIES FRAUD
On May 14, 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleging that Dean S. Thomassen ("Thomassen") violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The Complaint alleges that for almost two years, from August 1998 to May 2000, Thomassen made repeated fraudulent misrepresentations on the Internet for the purpose of manipulating the stock price of at least nine microcap companies. According to the Complaint, Thomassen sent numerous fraudulent unsolicited "spam" e-mail messages touting the stock and business prospects of each of the companies. Using several aliases, the Complaint further alleges, Thomassen also posted false and misleading information about these microcap companies on the Silicon Investor and Raging Bull websites. The Complaint alleges that, after the dissemination of the false information, the stock price and trading volume of many of the issuers increased significantly in the short term. According to the Complaint, on three occasions, Thomassen quickly sold his personal stock holdings in these companies into the resulting inflated market. The Complaint alleges that through his trading in the issuers' stocks, Thomassen realized illegal profits of $8,302, which constituted a return on his original investment of between 32% to 132% depending upon the particular stock.
The Commission's Complaint seeks a judgment against Thomassen: (i) permanently enjoining him from violating the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), specifically Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Exchange Act; (ii) permanently barring him from any future participation in the offering of penny stocks, under Section 603 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; (iii) ordering disgorgement of ill-gotten gains Thomassen received as a result of his wrongful conduct, plus pre-judgment interest thereon; and (iv) awarding civil monetary penalties.
For tips on how to avoid Internet "pump-and-dump" stock manipulation schemes, visit http://www.sec.gov/investor/online/pump.htm
For more information about Internet fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/internetenforce.htm.