Assistant U. S. Attorney Aaron P. Arnzen (619) 546-8384
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 31, 2022
SAN DIEGO – San Diego-based corporate and securities attorney Andrew Coldicutt is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with securities fraud in connection with a pump-and-dump scheme.
Coldicutt made his first appearance in federal court on Friday, August 26, 2022.
According to the allegations in the indictment, Coldicutt worked with other individuals from 2017 through 2019 to prepare and execute a pump-and-dump stock fraud scheme. Coldicutt thought the individuals with whom he was working were associated with a shady hedge fund. In reality, he was working with undercover FBI agents and sources gathering evidence against Coldicutt, the indictment said.
To carry out his role in the scheme, Coldicutt created a sham company and a business model – which supposedly focused on backyard fruit harvesting – and prepared and filed registration statements with the SEC for an initial public offering of the company’s stock. According to the indictment, the registration statements contained false and misleading information about the company, its business plans, and the people who owned and controlled the company.
“Corporate lawyers and other gatekeepers in the securities industry occupy a position of trust and confidence,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “This investigation and indictment signal the United States’ commitment to protecting the integrity of the stock market, and the innocent investors who are victimized by penny stock fraud schemes.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team for their excellent work on this case.
“Attorney Coldicutt occupied a position of trust. He allegedly betrayed that trust when he chose to ignore the laws and ethical rules of conduct he swore to uphold by attempting to commit stock fraud,” said Stacey Moy, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Diego Division. “These types of pump-and-dump schemes hurt not only local investors, but investors across the United States. The FBI will continue to protect the integrity of the stock market and investors impacted by fraud schemes such as this.”
The United States acknowledges the assistance and cooperation of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
DEFENDANT Case Number 22cr1881-JO
Andrew Coldicutt (42 years old) San Diego, California
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Title 15, U.S.C., Sec. 77q, 77x – Securities Fraud; Title 15, U.S.C., Sec. 77g, 77x – False Securities Registration Statements; Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1343 – Wire Fraud; Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 981(a)(1)(C) and Title 28, U.S.C., Sec. 2461(c) – Criminal Forfeiture
Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and a fine of not more than the greater of twice the amount of gain or loss associated with the offense or $250,000
Federal Bureau of Investigation
*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.