U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18506 / December 15, 2003
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Pinnacle Business Management, Inc., Vincent A. Lo Castro and Jeffrey G. Turino, 8:02-CV-822 (M.D. Fla., Tampa Div.)
SEC SETTLES LITIGATION AGAINST PINNACLE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, INC., VINCENT A. LO CASTRO AND JEFFREY G. TURINO
The Commission announced today that the Honorable Elizabeth A. Kovachevich of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, has entered final judgments against Pinnacle Business Management, Inc. and two of its former officers, Jeffrey G. Turino and Vincent A. Lo Castro. Each of the defendants was permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Turino and Lo Castro also were permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company and ordered to pay civil penalties of $60,000 and $25,000, respectively. Finally, Turino was barred from participating in any offering of penny stock for five years. The defendants consented to the judgments without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint.
The Commission's complaint alleged that an April 2, 2002 press release contained materially false and misleading statements regarding a proposed spin-off of a Pinnacle subsidiary known as All Pro. In the press release, Pinnacle stated that after the spin-off to Pinnacle shareholders, All Pro would seek a listing on the American Stock Exchange, and that its initial trading price would be $4.00 per share. The Commission's complaint alleged that Pinnacle lacked a reasonable basis for stating that All Pro would trade at $4.00 per share, that Pinnacle misquoted an AMEX floor broker to convey a false and misleading endorsement of the company's claims, and that Pinnacle overstated the likelihood that All Pro would obtain an AMEX listing. After the Commission filed its complaint, the All Pro spin-off did not take place.
In August 2003, Pinnacle announced that Turino and Lo Castro had resigned from their positions with the company and that the company has "no assets, no operating business and no sources of revenue." The company also disclosed, for the first time, that it has more than 24 billion shares of common stock issued and outstanding.
The settlements conclude the litigation brought by the Commission arising out of Pinnacle's April 2, 2002 press release.