U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19016 / December 28, 2004
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert J. Cassandro, Michael C. Cardascia, and Stephen E. Apolant, Defendants, and Joan Cardascia, Relief Defendant, Civil Case No. CV-04-4199 (Spatt, J.) (E.D.N.Y. filed September 29, 2004).
SEC Settles with Attorney in Anthrax Hoax Case
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on December 10, 2004, the Honorable Arthur D. Spatt, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, entered a final judgment by consent against attorney, Robert J. Cassandro (Cassandro). Without admitting or denying the allegations made in the Commission's complaint, Cassandro agreed to be enjoined permanently from violating the antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, to pay disgorgement with prejudgment interest, to pay a civil penalty of $25,000, and to be permanently suspended from practicing law before the Commission. See Lit. Rel. No. 18909.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Spectrum Brands was secretly managed and controlled by a group of stock promoters in Hicksville, New York, some of whom were convicted felons. The complaint further alleges that to conceal its true ownership from the investing public, Spectrum Brands stated in a Form 8-K filed with the Commission on or about October 31, 2001, that a Michael J. Burns was the sole officer and director of the company and that the corporate address was in Hauppauge, New York. In truth, Burns had little or no management responsibility for Spectrum Brands and the Hauppauge address was a mail drop. The complaint alleges that Cassandro participated in drafting the false and misleading statements in the Form 8-K while knowing that the statements were false and misleading.
Cassandro, without admitting or denying the allegations, settled the action by consenting to entry of a court order that: (i) permanently enjoins him from violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; (ii) requires him to pay $950 in disgorgement and $142 in prejudgment interest; and (iii) requires him to pay a $25,000 civil penalty; (iv) requires him to submit to a proceeding pursuant to Rule 102(e) of the Commission's Rules of Practice permanently suspending him from practicing law before the Commission.
This case is related to Securities and Exchange Commission v. Spectrum Brands Corp., Saverio (Sammy) Galasso III, David Hutter (a/k/a David Green), Charlie Dilluvio and Michael J. Burns, Civil Case No. CV-01-8257 (Spatt, J.)(E.D.N.Y. filed December 11, 2001)[LR - 17265), in which the Commission alleged that, among other things, Spectrum Brands falsely claimed that it had a product that could "wipe out surface germs in less than 5 seconds, including anthrax." See also Lit. Rel. No. 18909.
The Commission acknowledges assistance provided by NASD Regulation Inc., the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the United States Postal Inspection Service in this matter.
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. To report suspicious activity involving possible Internet fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml.