Litigation Release No. 23864 / June 21, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission v. James M. Farinella, et al., Case No. 2:17-cv-04538 (D.N.J. filed June 21, 2017)

SEC Files Fraud Charges Against Stock Promoters in Market Manipulation Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a New Jersey-based group of stock promoters with fraud involving the manipulation and artificial inflation of the share price of a microcap company. The scheme grossed over $1 million.

The SEC alleges that James M. Farinella, and his purported consulting firm Integrated Capital Partners, Inc. (ICP), controlled virtually the entire public float of stock in microcap issuer Pazoo, Inc. Farinella paid Equity Awareness Group (EAG) to promote Pazoo and to engage in matched trading to create the appearance of an active market for Pazoo stock and boost the stock price. The SEC further alleges that Anthony Amado, an owner of EAG, and Carlo Palomino, an EAG employee, carried out the scheme, enabling Farinella to dump Pazoo shares for over $1 million.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey today announced criminal charges against Farinella.

The SEC's complaint charges Farinella, ICP, Amado, EAG and Palomino with violating Sections 17(a)(1) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 9(a)(1) and (2) and 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains along with prejudgment interest, penalties, and penny stock bars.

The SEC's investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Michael Paley and Joseph Darragh of the Microcap Fraud Task Force along with Haimavathi V. Marlier and Rhonda L. Jung of the New York Regional Office. The SEC's litigation will be led by Ms. Marlier and Ms. Jung, and the case is being supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, the FBI, and FINRA.

SEC Complaint