SEC Obtains Over $5 Million Final Judgment Against Individual in Multi-Million Dollar Microcap Pump and Dump Scheme
Litigation Release No. 25621 / January 23, 2023
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Abujudeh, Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-04110 (E.D.N.Y. filed July 22, 2021)
On January 20, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a final judgment against California resident Charlie Abujudeh whom the SEC had charged for his role in a microcap fraud scheme targeting retail investors. Among other things, the judgment orders Abujudeh to pay a total of over $5 million.
According to the SEC's complaint, filed on July 22, 2021, from August 2019 to at least September 2020, Abujudeh worked with others to fraudulently sell several microcap companies' stock to investors by making misleading statements during high pressure sales calls and/or email promotions. The SEC alleges that, as part of the scheme, Abujudeh and his associates convinced investors to invest in the stock of Odyssey Group International, Inc., as well as other microcap companies, including Scepter Holdings, Inc., and CannaPharmaRx, Inc. Abujudeh paid stock promoters to tout Odyssey stock over the phone to unsuspecting retail investors who were recruited through false and misleading representations. Abujudeh also allegedly paid for email promotional campaigns and schemed to hide his control over and simultaneous sale of Odyssey, Scepter, and CannaPharmaRx stock into the increased demand that the promotions he paid for had generated. The SEC's complaint alleges that Abujudeh funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars of the illegal Odyssey stock sale proceeds to an Odyssey insider with whom he had been coordinating.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint, Abujudeh consented to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from violating the registration provisions of Section 5 and the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Abujudeh also consented to the imposition of a five-year penny stock bar, a five-year officer-and-director bar, disgorgement of $5,423,045 and prejudgment interest of $115,993, and a $414,366 civil penalty.
The SEC's case against Abujudeh was handled by David D'Addio, Nita Klunder, and Paul Block of the Boston Regional Office. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.