SEC v. Joseph P. Cillo:
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) recently announced that the Honorable James D. Whittemore, United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa has entered final judgment against defendant Joseph P. Cillo (“Cillo”) of Dade City, Florida. The judgment permanently enjoins Cillo from further violations of Section 15(b)(6)(B)(i) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), imposes a statutory penny stock bar on him pursuant to Section 21(d)(6) of the Exchange Act, and orders that he pay disgorgement in the amount of $20,000 with prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $1.124.50 within 30 days. In addition, Cillo was ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $60,000 within 30 days. Cillo consented to the final judgment without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission’s complaint.
The Complaint alleged that in November 2007, through a reverse merger with a penny-stock shell company, Cillo became the CEO and controlling shareholder of eFUEL EFN Corp. (“eFUEL”), a purported web development company then based in Tampa, Florida and listed on the OTC Market Group’s “OTC Pink” market tier (formerly the “Pink Sheets”) under the symbol “EFUL.” It further alleged that in connection with an ongoing market manipulation investigation involving eFUEL and other related entities and individuals, the SEC determined that Cillo engaged in various activities related to, and for the purpose of, issuing, trading, and inducing the purchase of eFUEL’s stock. Specifically, Cillo (1) offered and/or issued hundreds of millions of shares of eFUEL stock to third-parties as purported payment for debts and services, (2) drafted and approved multiple press releases touting the company’s business plan and development prospects, and (3) prepared, signed, and submitted periodic reports to the OTC Markets Group in order to comply with the Pink Sheets’ minimal requirements for “adequate current information.” These activities constituted violations of a 1995 Commission order which barred Cillo from participating in the offering of any penny stock.
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