SEC Charges Arizona Wind Turbine Company and Individuals with Defrauding Investors
Litigation Release No. 24853 / July 14, 2020
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Thunderbird Power Corp., et al., No. 1:20-cv-22901 (S.D. Fla. filed July 14, 2020)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Thunderbird Power Corp., an Arizona-based company claiming to be developing a wind turbine technology, and three individuals for defrauding investors out of more than $1.9 million in the unregistered offer and sale of Thunderbird stock.
According to the SEC's complaint, Thunderbird's CEO, Richard Hinds (of Arizona), former Thunderbird president Anthony Goldstein (of Canada), and consultant John Alexander "Lex" van Arem (of Canada) orchestrated the fraudulent offering and were responsible for numerous false and misleading statements in offering materials, press releases, and a YouTube video regarding the status of the wind turbine technology, purported validation of the technology by a nationally known firm, and Thunderbird's use of investor proceeds. The complaint further alleges that Goldstein and van Arem retained a national network of sales agents to email and cold-call prospective investors using the false claims. According to the complaint, Hinds, Goldstein, and van Arem misappropriated nearly $850,000, representing more than 40% of investor funds, to enrich themselves and pay the sales agents to seek out more unsuspecting investors.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, charges Thunderbird, Hinds, and Goldstein for violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"). The complaint also charges Thunderbird and Goldstein for violating Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act, and Hinds for aiding and abetting violations of that provision. The complaint also charges van Arem for violating Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act, and aiding and abetting Thunderbird's violations of Section 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-5(a) and 10b-5(c) thereunder. The SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. The SEC also seeks officer and director bars against Hinds and Goldstein, and penny stock bars against them and van Arem.
The SEC's case was supervised by Elisha L. Frank and Glenn S. Gordon. Robert K. Levenson is leading the SEC's litigation under the supervision of Andrew O. Schiff.