ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona utilities regulators decide 2 must pay back nearly $400K in fraud cases

Oct 29, 2021, 11:15 AM
(Twitter Photo/Arizona Corporation Commission)...
(Twitter Photo/Arizona Corporation Commission)
(Twitter Photo/Arizona Corporation Commission)

PHOENIX – Public utilities regulators in Arizona have fined two men for fraudulent sales in separate cases, and ordered them to pay back nearly $400,000 combined.

The Arizona Corporation Commission said Thursday in a press release that William Melvin Hawkins and Scottsdale-based Biomed Pharma Group must pay $243,630 in restitution for fraudulently offering and selling unregistered company stock.

Mario Sosa of Phoenix must pay $155,300 in restitution for offering and selling an unregistered cryptocurrency investment.

Hawkins and Biomed Pharma weren’t registered with the commission as securities sellers or dealers, the panel said.

Hawkins also failed to tell investors that the commission had revoked his securities salesman registration in 2007. That banned him selling unregistered securities in the state.

The panel said Hawkins also still owed more than $1 million in restitution.

He and the company were also fined $30,000.

Sosa, the commission said, “touted investment returns of more than 300% when selling the crypto investments, claiming investor funds would earn income through the buying and selling of cryptocurrency or by the purchase of machines that would ‘mine’ various virtual currencies.”

Instead, the panel found that Sosa didn’t disclose the risks related to cryptocurrency and that he hadn’t mentioned that other investors hadn’t been able to withdraw principal and interest as he had promised.

Sosa was also assessed $20,000 in an administrative penalty.

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Arizona utilities regulators decide 2 must pay back nearly $400K in fraud cases