The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Gary S. Williky of Colleyville, Texas with perpetuating a penny stock "pump and dump" scheme on the stock of Imperial Petroleum, Inc. (IPMN), a public company based in Evansville, Ind. Imperial Petroleum is the focus of another SEC lawsuit as well.
Between 2010 and 2012, the SEC alleges that Williky, working as an investor relations consultant, pumped up the volume of Imperial's stock price via wash trades. Wash trading is the buying and selling of stocks through different brokers. The effect is an artificial increase in volume. He is also accused of sending out mass emails marketing the merits of the stock while selling his own shares.
Not only did Williky not disclose the purchase of more than 5% of company stock over the course of the violation, but he sold his shares in the company after learning that Imperial was engaging in illegal acts as well.
To read the original press release click here.