Don Bauder 7:21 p.m., March 27
Two local lawyers charged in pump and dump fraud scheme
Carrillo, Huettel fraudulently helped Canadian touts, says SEC
San Diego attorneys Luis J. Carrillo and Wade Huettel, along with their firm, Carrillo Huettel LLP, have been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with complicity in a pump and dump fraud scheme that allowed a group of Canadian stock promoters to rake in $11 million by running up and then dumping stock of two companies, Pacific Blue Energy and Trade Show Marketing. Carrillo and Huettel "drafted Pacific Blue's misleading public filings, provided misleading legal opinions," and allowed the touts to funnel sales through the law firm's attorney-client trust account, says the SEC. Carrillo and Huettel helped two of the promoters "mask their ownership and control of Pacific Blue by transferring blocks of shares through a complex web of dozens of offshore entities," says the commission. Financial institutions in the offshore tax and secrecy havens of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands were involved in the maneuvers.
Carrillo and Huettel received more than $1 million when Pacific Blue stock was dumped, and the money was transferred to Carrillo's father, Dr. Luis Carrillo, who is named both as a defendant and relief defendant. Then, $300,000 was transferred to Carrillo and Huettel, partially as a sham loan to the law firm, says the SEC. That firm, Carrillo Huettel LLP, formerly SteadyLaw Group, is in the process of winding down, according to the SEC. The case is being handled by the New York office of the SEC, and has been filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.
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