Monday, November 30, 2009
SEC Charges New Orleans Hurricane Restoration Company with Securities Fraud
The SEC charged a Dallas and New Orleans-based hurricane restoration company and several executives for lying about non-existent business deals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and fraudulently inflating the company's stock price before the company's CEO sold millions of dollars in company shares. The SEC alleges that Home Solutions of America, Inc. recorded millions of dollars in bogus revenue and issued a series of materially false press releases boasting robust financial results following Katrina and other weather-related disasters, thus inflating the company's stock price. The stock price later plummeted after large insider stock sales, the filing of private securities lawsuits alleging fraud, and the company's public announcement that it would restate its financial statements. Home Solutions then-CEO Frank Fradella, who is among seven individuals charged by the SEC in the scheme, dumped approximately $6.8 million worth of stock into the inflated market.
The SEC's complaint charges Home Solutions, Fradella, Marshall and Mattich with violations of the antifraud, reporting, books and records and internal control provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks permanent injunctive relief, financial penalties, and as to the individuals, full disgorgement with interest and officer and director bars.
Four others charged today by the SEC simultaneously agreed to settle on the following terms, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint: