• Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

On September 2, a New York law firm sent an unusual letter to a judge in the Southern District of New York. The letter stated that San Diego attorney Luis Carrillo will no longer fight Securities and Exchange Commission charges of 2013.

The commission had said that Carrillo, his then-law partner Wade Huettel, a group of Canadian stock promoters, and a broker based in the tax and secrecy haven of the Bahamas, participated in a pump 'n' dump scam, illegally running up two penny stocks and dumping them for fat profits.

The commission charged that Carrillo and Huettel, serving as lawyers for the group of penny-stock touts, prepared false documents, masked the touts' participation, permitted the ill-gotten gains to be run through their attorney-client trust account, and raked in $1 million in the process. The agency said at the time that their San Diego law firm, Carrillo Huettel LLP, was about to break up.

The September 2 letter says Carrillo agrees to be permanently enjoined from committing further violations, enjoined from participating in penny-stock offerings, and barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company. Carrillo agreed to stop defending the case.

The Securities and Exchange Commission website has nothing on this letter and nothing on Huettel's current status. The publication Stockwatch says the letter is unusual because such offers are ordinarily part of settlement negotiations. Some think the agency may not accept Carrillo's offer.

Carrillo and Huettel are still active lawyers, according to the State Bar of California. Carrillo is named, but not charged, in another securities agency penny-stock fraud case filed in February of this year.

  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 7:37 p.m.

AlexClarke: Yes, and there are many, many more, particularly in the securities industry, and particularly in the penny stock end of the securities industry, which is analogous to a red light district in a city. Carrillo is said to be in Mexico City now. He raked in a bundle of money on new issues of penny stocks, including to this one. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Sept. 7, 2015 @ 8:03 p.m.

Perhaps if the law schools were not pumping out this oversupply of new lawyers, and if the state bar exams were weeding out more of the unqualified types, there would not be so many of them competing for a fixed pie of business. With more legitimate (yeah, I know that anything they do is questionable) business, fewer lawyers would go crooked. Believe it or not, a couple generations ago being an attorney was to be in an esteemed profession, on par with being a doctor, as in physician. How things have changed!


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 8:15 p.m.

Visduh: Nonetheless, even though the big white shoe law firms take on the most crooked clients because that is where the money is, there is still prestige in working for one of these big firms. Don't ask me why.

My mother, who died in 1997 at age 97, used to say that back when she was much younger, money had an odor. The person who had made his money through thievery was not admired by respectable people. That is not true anymore. It hasn't been true for half a century. Anybody with money is revered, no matter how they got it. It's just another example of how greed has taken over. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2015 @ 9:03 a.m.

Mike Murphy: I would definitely say that the consensus among lawyers, accountants, and public relations professionals today is that they will take on any high-paying client, no matter how crooked. A lawyer will justify it by saying that everybody deserves a fair trial. Accounting and PR people will say something similar.

Trouble is, those white shoe law firms, in defending crooks, will cut legal corners to do so. Ditto accounting and PR firms. They rely on their political clout -- say, with top dogs in the Securities and Exchange Commission -- to not be cited along with their clients.

To make a long story short, these firms will do anything for money. They are smitten with greed, just as our entire society is. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Sept. 8, 2015 @ 9:29 a.m.

Hence, most politicians have a law background


Twister Sept. 8, 2015 @ 2:52 p.m.

This is why I suspect that culture is a psychopathology. In its extreme forms (although the concept of culture itself, given that social interaction is an option) it results in a kind of neurosis that is tied to a fear of starvation and loss that goes 'way back to culture's origins. As one acquires more, one continuously resets the bar that defines "doing without," which compounds the neurosis because the higher one goes, the farther one has to fall.

Then there is the bragging rights thing. Anthropologists have called the idea of possessing, say, a headdress of bird-of-paradise feathers "sympathetic magic" because the damned fool thinks the magic possessed by the bird, the mink, the Rolls, the Rolex, is transferred to the one possessing it. Egocentrism on steroids. Equals limitless greed. Three is no such thing as adequacy, no such thing as "enough."


Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2015 @ 3:12 p.m.

Twister: "Egocentrism on steroids." Well said. That describes numerous people in the public eye, particularly those seeking and occupying high political positions. I will add another description: "narcissism squared." Best, Don Bauder


Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader