Richard St. Julien

Date:

August 18, 2016

Type of alert:

SEC Complaint  

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Complaint in early May against Richard St. Julien, ex-chairman of ForceField Energy, Inc., and nine other individuals who were allegedly involved in schemes orchestrated by St. Julien to trick investors into buying shares of ForceField stock. ForceField Energy is listed with the SEC as a business in “alternative energy and products and technologies,” distributing LED and other lighting products. St. Julien faced a criminal charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud last year filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, with the nine individuals involved now facing criminal charges.

According to the SEC’s Complaint, St. Julien allegedly conducted the following schemes:

  • Between October 2014 and April 2015, St. Julien hired Jared Mitchell, an investor relations professional, to pay cash kickbacks to the brokers Pranav V. Patel, Richard L. Brown, Gerald J. Cocuzzo, Naveed A. Khan, and Maroof Miyana in return for their recommending and purchasing ForceField stock in their customers’ accounts. These registered broker-dealers did not disclose to their customers that they were being paid these cash kickbacks.
  • Between June 2012 and January 2014, St. Julien paid kickbacks to Christopher F. Castaldo, president of WSBSH and Stock Traders Press Inc., for the successful solicitation of investors to buy ForceField stock in their personal brokerage accounts. Castaldo succeeded in doing so by promoting ForceField to potential investors in published investment research reports, in telephone calls, and in person. Castaldo failed to accurately disclose to his readers the amount of compensation he was being paid to promote ForceField nor did he disclose to them that St. Julien was paying him kickbacks of approximately 10% of the dollar amount of stock the investors bought.
  • Between approximately December 2009 and April 2015, St. Julien paid Louis F. Petrossi and Herschel C. Knippa kickbacks in exchange for successfully soliciting investments in ForceField’s private placement offerings. Knippa and Petrossi solicited investors at investment conferences among other places, with Knippa making an appearance as a market commentator on the Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” show and touted ForceField as a good investment. Knippa and Petrossi failed to disclose to potential investors that they were being compensated for this solicitation.

St. Julien and the other parties involved allegedly tried to conceal this illegal conduct by transferring money to and from an offshore account, communicating on a prepaid “burner” phone, and even downloading an app that encrypts messages and subsequently deletes them once read.

The SEC is seeking to permanently prohibit St. Julien and the other nine alleged co-conspirators from engaging in acts, practices, transactions, and courses of business alleged in the SEC Complaint as well as repay their earnings during the alleged illegal soliciting with prejudgment interest and pay civil money penalties. Additionally, the SEC is seeking to bar St. Julien, Castaldo, and Petrossi from selling penny stocks, with Julien also facing an officer-and-director bar which would prohibit him from serving as a director or officer of a public company.

Take the next steps to find out if you have a claim:

Step 1.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney Today

Call and speak to one of our attorneys* for a no-cost consultation to discuss your situation, answer your questions, and help you determine the next steps. This call usually takes about 15 minutes, but we are happy to talk to you as long as you would like!

Step 2.

Quick Review of Your Paperwork

If we think you might have a case, we will need to review a few basic documents. If we determine you have a case, then you will have the option to hire us as your attorneys to pursue it.

Step 3.

Signed Attorney/Client Agreement

If you decide to hire us to pursue your case, we will have you sign an attorney-client agreement so we can begin the process of trying to recover your losses.*

*In the vast majority of cases, our agreement is contingent – meaning you won’t owe us any money unless we recover money for you.


Request a Consultation

This site contains attorney advertising. The attorneys at ChapmanAlbin are licensed to practice law in Ohio and Michigan. Any reference to past cases or successes made herein should not be construed as a guarantee of any future outcome. Each client and each client’s case is unique, and no result or outcome is or can ever be guaranteed. The information provided in this website is offered for general information purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice in any way. // Disclaimer