All information in this report was compiled from public records maintained by the SEC.
Penny Stock Market Manipulation
Lee Cohen, 52, of the United Kingdom, was issued an SEC order and notice of hearing on May 23. Cohen pled guilty last August to a charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in a criminal case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in United States v. Cohen, 1:22-cr-00209-KAM (E.D.N.Y. May 4, 2022).
From June 2017 through February 2018, Cohen lived in and operated a business from a location in Manila, The Philippines. In this self-described boiler room, Cohen and others schemed to defraud investors in the securities of HD View 360, a penny stock company.
Cohen and his cohorts called potential investors in the United States to recommend they purchase HD View shares at specific prices. Cohen coordinated with another person who controlled most of HD View’s free-trading shares to sell the shares at the same prices he recommended and then received proceeds from those sales. Cohen was never a registered or licensed broker and was never associated with one.
A judgment was entered May 15 in the criminal case against him. Cohen was sentenced to a 17-month prison term and ordered to pay restitution of $1.2 million. An SEC hearing will determine if any additional action will be taken.
Shell Companies and International Pump and Dump
Shrizali F. Jumani, of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, on May 22 entered an offer of settlement for an SEC order. Jumani pled guilty to aiding and abetting his associate, Avtar S. Dhillon, 61, of Long Beach, California, with violations of the antifraud, ownership reporting, and insider transaction reporting.
Jumani provided accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation services to Dhillon, the chairman of the board of OncoSec, a penny stock company, from March 2011 to February 2018. He was never licensed or registered as a certified public accountant or broker. During this time, Jumani acquired, held, and sold “founders’ shares” of OncoSec for Dhillon’s benefit.
In 2022, Dhillon pled guilty to three felony securities offenses, two of which concerned his undisclosed sale of more than $1.3 million worth of shares in OncoSec during the time Jumani acted as his accountant. The Vancouver physician-turned-stock-promoter was also enmeshed in an alleged $1 billion pump-and-dump scheme that American authorities claimed was orchestrated by West Vancouver resident Frederick Sharp. The group allegedly controlled by Sharp is accused of hiding millions of insider shares through local and offshore shell companies and brokerage accounts.
Jumani is ordered to surrender for cancellation the 98 shares of OncoSec stock he still holds, pay a civil penalty of $25,000 to the SEC, and is barred from participating in any offering of a penny stock.