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Wells Fargo Adviser Charged in $13 Million "Pump and Dump" Scheme

By Erwin J.Shutak, Esq.  of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Friday, January 8, 2016.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Wells Fargo adviser Donald Toomer with helping a client operate a $13 million “pump and dump” scheme.  Toomer was an an independent financial advisor with Wells Fargo's FiNet. Last week, the SEC charged another individual, Samuel DelPresto, and his business with originating the scheme to manipulate the price of four stocks: BioNeutral Group (BONU); NXT Nutritionals Holdings (NXTH); Mesa Energy Holdings, (MSEH); and ClearLite Holdings, (CLRH).

DelPresto and a business partner, who is not named in the SEC complaint, organized reverse mergers of financially distressed companies with a shell company whose stock DelPresto and his business partner controlled, according to court documents.

DelPresto would jack up the stock price through manipulative trading and paid promotional campaigns and then sell their own shares, according to authorities.

The SEC says DelPresto, 47, recruited Toomer, 42, to buy the stocks in his clients' portfolios in exchange for kickbacks up to 10% of the total shares he had his clients buy. Toomer's purchases of the stock on behalf of his clients helped inflate the price, according to authorities.

The influx of cash also helped DelPresto fund his efforts, including promotional campaigns for the stock, authorities say.          

Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. has extensive experience in the area of securities and financial services law and routinely counsels investors, brokers, broker-dealers and registered investment advisors.  For more information  contact Erwin J. Shustak, Esq, Managing Partner, at 619.696.9500 or via email at [email protected] or visit our web site at www.shufirm.com

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