WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Feb. 14 that it charged Terminus Energy, a California-based penny stock company, and four corporate officers with allegations of misleading investors.
According to the SEC, the company raised roughly $7.9 million from investors by claiming to have a viable prototype. The SEC claims that Terminus Energy misled investors about the research, development and profitability of the product. The defendants allegedly used the raised funds for personal gain.
The four corporate officers are George Doumanis, Emanuel Pantelakis, Danny B. Pratte and Joseph L. Pittera. Doumanis is a convicted felon that was secretly acting as an officer of the company despite being barred from penny stock offerings. Pantelakis was on the company’s board despite being barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Pratte was the company’s CEO while Pittera acted as legal counsel.
“As alleged in our complaint, these company insiders spent massive, undisclosed amounts of investor funds and left the company with no realistic chance of developing a fuel cell product,” said Eric I. Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office.
The SEC seeks the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains. The agency’s case is ongoing; it is being handled by Robert H. Murphy and Mark Dee in the Miami office. Jessica M. Weissman is supervising the case, and the litigation is being led by Alejandro Soto.