The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced Andrew L. Fassari, an Irvine, California-based trader, was charged with fraud and had his assets frozen.
Fassari made false statements throughout December about defunct company ARCS as he looked to profit from a traditional ‘pump and dump’ scheme, the SEC alleged.
The financial watchdog stated Fassari sold all his shares in ARCS for profits of over $929,000 in mid-December after an intensive campaign on Twitter to thousands of followers, claiming ARCS was reviving its operations, expanding its business, and being backed by “huge” investors.
ARCS’s share price skyrocketed, ultimately increasing over 4,000%, on account of Fassari’s successful and misleading campaign. He previously bought over 41 million shares of ARCS shares. In addition, on March 2, 2021, the SEC issued an order temporarily suspending trading in the securities of ARCS.
“We allege that Fassari profited by using social media to deceive investors. The SEC is committed to protecting investors by proactively monitoring suspicious trading activity tied to social media, and by charging those who use social media to violate the federal securities laws”, said Melissa R. Hodgman, Acting Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
The SEC’s complaint charges Fassari with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty from Fassari.
The SEC alleges that Fassari continued to tweet about other stocks as recently as January and February 2021. Fassari’s Twitter page, however, is still online and his most recent tweets were:
“Over 4 billion shares short…its about to get real at the open today…hope you all have your orders in. $mrnj $ltnc $inkw $pmpg $pvsp $afpw $fb $bbrw $mine #pennystocks #stocks #shortsqueeze $rkt”, as he maintained an active presence as a stock trading influencer.
“Hope you guys have a great day, I am calling it. @etrade yet again screwing up and cant access pro, market depth or even my own portfolio. See you guys tomorrow hopefully.” This last tweet might be related to SEC’s asset freeze order.
Fassari’s Twitter profile stated: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered and wolves take everything.” -OC. Master short squeeze artist. #Pennystock Wizard. John 3:16″