SEC sanctions Mt. Kisco lawyer for stock manipulation program
MOUNT KISCO, NY – The SEC has sanctioned Mount Kisco attorney Peter DiChiara for helping a business owner hide his involvement in a stock fraud scheme.
DiChiara has been banned from dealing or advising on legal matters within the agency’s jurisdiction for three years, at which time he can apply to resume his appearance or practice before the SEC. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Boston fined him $ 57,168 and also banned him from providing legal advice to anyone selling securities for five years.
DiChiara helped a client create a scheme that made it look like publicly traded companies were being acquired, but instead stock prices were artificially inflated and then ditched for huge profit by the owners. . In the case of a company known as Environmental Packaging, the conspirators went to great lengths to cover up their fraud.
Stock transactions were designed so that they “appeared to be ordinary transactions,” the SEC said in its civil complaint.
“DiChiara helped Tobin transfer his shares through a network of nominee entities to escape legal restrictions on share sales,” according to the complaint. “This allowed Tobin to sell his shares in bulk during a stock market promotion, as the price of Environmental Packaging’s shares more than doubled.”
DiChiara helped client Morrie Tobin hide company property. The lawyer also helped Tobin transfer $ 1 million to an offshore equity promotion firm hired to promote one of the stocks at the center of the fraud.
DiChiara’s settlement offer was accepted by the SEC and he consented to the penalties imposed by the commission.
DiChiara’s client Tobin, meanwhile, pleaded guilty last year to criminal charges related to stock fraud. He was ordered to pay $ 4 million in restitution as well as a fine of $ 100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison.