Eight Individuals, Including Two in North-East Ohio, Face SEC Charges for Roles in Extensive Microcap Pump-and-Dump Scheme

Ohio investment fraud lawyersThe Securities and Exchange Commission charged a clique of eight persons for their roles in an alleged pump-and-dump scheme involving a California-based penny stock company which has repeatedly changed its name and professed lines of business over the past several years. Izak Zirk de Maison was the architect of the scheme, the SEC alleges, but investors may remember him as Izak Zirk Engelbrecht, the name he held before taking the surname of his wife, Angelique de Maison. Both Izak Zirk and Angelique Maison are charged by the SEC, along with others, enrolled to buy, sell, or promote stock in a company now named Gepco Ltd. The SEC further alleges that Izak Zirk de Maison installed some associates as officers and directors of Gepco, while running the company behind the scenes, and was the de facto Director.

The ring compiled big blocks of shares of Gepco common stock while the de Maisons, of Redlands, California, manipulated the market in order to falsely give the appearance of real investor demand, then permitting an associate to sell, or dump, his stock at inflated prices to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit profits, the SEC alleges.

Zirk de Maison Secretly Controlled Shell Company Now Known as Gepco Since Its Incorporation in 2008

Zirk de Maison has secretly controlled the shell company now known as Gepco since it was incorporated in 2008 under a different name. Then for the next five years, he entered the into a number of mergers and its reported business evolved several time from equipment leasing, to a company known as WikiFamilies, and ultimately Gepco in 2013, according to the SEC. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio and the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, announced criminal charges against Zirk de Maison. The Cleveland connection continues with other members of the ring charged in the SEC’s Complaint. Jason Cope of Gates Mills, Ohio, a longtime associate of Zirk de Maison, was involved, as well as Louis Mastromatteo of Bay Village, Ohio, who, on Cope’s behalf, allegedly dumped more than 2.5 million shares of Gepco stock into the public market for hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit profits which were kicked back to Cope, the SEC alleges. Other alleged co-conspirators include Trish Malone of Santee, California, Peter Voutsas of Santa Monica, California, Ronald Loshin of San Anselmo, California, and Kieran Kuhn of Port Washington, N.Y., according the SEC.

Investment Fraud Lawyers Investigating

The Peiffer Rosca securities attorneys often represent investors who lose money as a result of Ponzi schemes, investment fraud, or stockbroker misconduct. They are currently investigating the possibility of assisting victims with the recovery of their losses. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.

Investors who believe they lost money as a result of investment fraud or misconduct may contact the securities lawyers at Peiffer Rosca, Alan Rosca or Joe Peiffer, for a free, no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 888-998-0520.