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SEC Charges Las Vegas Advisor in Pump-and-Dump Scheme

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The SEC has amended a complaint that it filed last week in a pump-and-dump scheme to charge a financial advisor it said took part in the arrangement.

Las Vegas-based financial advisor Donald Toomer Jr. was charged with fraud by the agency after it said he agreed to buy shares of three microcap stocks in client accounts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash kickbacks.

According to the agency, Toomer was part of Samuel DelPresto’s scheme to control nearly all the available stock in a total of four microcap companies, drive up the price and then dump the shares on the market. DelPresto and his company were charged by both the SEC and in a parallel action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

“We allege that Toomer abused his role as a financial advisor to help create the false appearance of market demand in these stocks and facilitate the pump-and-dump scheme,” Andrew Calamari, regional director of the SEC’s New York office, said in a statement.

The SEC’s amended complaint charges Toomer with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. It also seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest and a penalty, and a penny stock bar. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has also filed criminal charges against Toomer in a parallel action.

Toomer did not respond to a request for comment by press time. The SEC’s investigation is continuing.