Miami (July 16, 2020) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused three men of defrauding investors out of more than US$1.9 million in illegal stock sales in connection with Arizona-based wind turbine company, Thunderbird Power Corp. The U.S. commission announced charges against the alternative energy firm, its CEO, Richard Hinds, its former president, Anthony Goldstein, and the consultant, John Alexander ‘Lex’ van Arem for unregistered offer and sale of Thunderbird stock. The last two are Ontario residents. The complaint was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida on July 14.
Two Ontario residents are allegedly involved in orchestrating a fraudulent offering from stocks of an alternative energy firm, according to a press release of July 14. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laid charges against Arizona-based wind turbine company Thunderbird Power Corp., and three men for defrauding investors.
Illegal stock sales
The Miami Regional Office of the commission announced charges against Thunderbird Power Corp., its CEO, Richard Hinds, its former president, Anthony Goldstein, and the consultant, John Alexander ‘Lex’ van Arem. Goldstein and van Arem are Ontario residents. The U.S. alternative energy firm and the three men are accused of illegally selling Thunderbird stock based on a false hype about its wind turbine technology. The SEC alleged that they defrauded their investors with the unregistered stock sales out of more than US$1.9 million.
According to the SEC’s complaint, the three men were responsible for numerous false and misleading statements regarding the fraudulent offering. They allegedly provided material, press releases, and a YouTube video promoting the status of the wind turbine technology, the purported validation of the technology by a nationally known firm, and Thunderbird’s use of investor proceeds. Additionally, the U.S. regulator accused Goldstein and van Arem of using a ‘national network of sales agents to email and cold call prospective investors using the false claims,’ read the press release.
The SEC concluded in their complaint that Hinds, Goldstein, and van Arem misappropriated nearly US$850,000 – which equates to more than 40 percent of investor funds – to enrich themselves and pay the sales agents to seek out more unsuspecting investors. ‘As alleged in our complaint, the defendants solicited investors with false statements about Thunderbird’s wind turbine technology and then used those investor funds to wrongly enrich themselves and finance their ongoing fraud,’ outlined Eric Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami office in the press release.
SEC filed complaint
The SEC filed the complaint (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Thunderbird Power Corp., et al., No. 1:20-cv-22901) in federal court in the Southern District of Florida on July 14. They laid charges against Thunderbird, Hinds, van Arem, and Godstein for violating the securities registration, broker-dealer registration, and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The allegations have not been proven in court.
The U.S. regulator is seeking permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and penny stock bans against the three accused. Furthermore, it is also seeking officer and director bans against Hinds and Goldstein.
‘Investors should be wary of unsolicited offers of investment and carefully research a company’s business and products before investing,’ warns Bustillo.