SEC Files Charges Gannon Giguiere in Busted Microcap Schemes
On July 13, 2018 The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a stock promoter and four others involved in an alleged series of microcap fraud schemes that were foiled by FBI undercover work and an SEC trading suspension.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in southern California on July 6, stock promoter Gannon Giguiere took control of a purported medical device company. Giguiere, together with a Cayman Islands-based broker, then allegedly engaged in a matched trading scheme that caused the company’s share price to rise from zero to $1.20 per share.
Giguiere and the brokerage owner, Oliver-Barret Lindsay, allegedly coordinated their matched trading through an individual who turned out to be an FBI cooperating witness. According to the complaint, despite extensive encrypted communications, the defendants were caught by an undercover FBI operation that recorded their communications, with Lindsay going so far as to tell an individual cooperating with the FBI, “I’m a little hesitant about typing all of these details into this app. … You can just imagine if it finds its way somewhere it’s fairly incriminating.” According to the complaint, the pair’s plan to dump millions of shares in the purported medical device company was thwarted when, this past March, the SEC suspended trading in the securities of the purported medical device company.
The SEC’s complaint also charges three others who began laying the groundwork for a pump-and-dump scheme involving a purported digital media company. The SEC alleges that Kevin Gillespie, Annetta Budhu, and Andrew Hackett entered into a number of sham stock and debt issuances, and Hackett wound up communicating with someone he believed to be a participant in the scheme who in reality was an undercover FBI agent.
“As alleged in our complaint, these stock traders hijacked companies and manipulated the market to enrich themselves at the expense of the investing public. Law enforcement is committed to rooting out microcap fraud and exposing it no matter how encrypted or complex such schemes may be,” said Marc P. Berger, Director of the SEC’s New York Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California today announced criminal charges.
The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by John O. Enright, Joseph P. Ceglio, Diego Brucculeri, and Sheldon L. Pollock of the New York office. The SEC’s litigation will be handled by Messrs. Enright and Ceglio. The case is being supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal and compliance advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.
Hamilton & Associates Law Group, P.A provides ongoing corporate and securities counsel to private companies and public companies listed and publicly traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ Stock Market, the NYSE MKT and OTC Markets. For two decades the Firm has served private and public companies and other market participants in corporate law matters, securities law and going public matters. The firm’s practice areas include, but are not limited to, forensic law and investigations, SEC investigations and SEC defense, corporate law matters, compliance with the Securities Act of 1933 securities offer and sale and registration statement requirements, including Regulation A/ Regulation A+ , private placement offerings under Regulation D including Rule 504 and Rule 506 and Regulation S and PIPE Transactions as well as registration statements on Forms S-1, Form F-1, Form S-8 and Form S-4; compliance with the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including Form 8-A and Form 10 registration statements, reporting on Forms 10-Q, Form 10-K and Form 8-K, Form 6-K and SEC Schedule 14CInformation and SEC Schedule 14A Proxy Statements; Regulation A / Regulation A+ offerings; all forms of going public transactions; mergers and acquisitions; applications to and compliance with the corporate governance requirements of national securities exchanges including NASDAQ and NYSE MKT and foreign listings; crowdfunding; corporate; and general contract and business transactions. The firm provides preparation of corporate documents and other transaction documents such as share purchase and exchange agreements, stock purchase agreements, asset purchase agreements and reorganization agreements. The firm prepares the necessary documentation and assists in completing the requirements of federal and state securities laws such as FINRA and DTC for Rule 15c2-11 / Form 211 trading applications, corporate name changes, reverse and forward splits, changes of domicile and other transactions. The firm represents clients in London, Dubai, India, Germany, India, France, Israel, Canada and throughout the U.S.