Former Chief Executive Officer of Publicly Traded Company Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud
Defendant Made Millions in Pump-and-Dump Scheme Involving Company Stock and Induced Elderly Victims to Invest
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Christian Romandetti, Sr., the former Chief Executive Officer of First Choice Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (FCHS), a publicly traded company based in Melbourne, Florida pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. When sentenced, Romandetti faces up to 5 years in prison.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty plea.
“Through deceptive means, the defendant cheated his investors, many of whom were elderly,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “With today’s guilty plea, Christian Romandetti, Sr. is held responsible for orchestrating and profiting from a pump-and-dump scheme involving shares of his own healthcare services company.”
Mr. Peace also expressed his grateful appreciation to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for their significant cooperation and assistance in the investigation.
As alleged in the indictment, between May 2013 and June 2016, the defendant and others engaged in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors and potential investors in FCHS by artificially controlling the price and volume of traded shares in FCHS through, among other things:
- artificially generating price movements and trading volume in the shares, and
- material misrepresentations and omissions in their communications with victim investors about FCHS stock, relating to, among other things, the advisability of purchasing such stock.
To execute this scheme, the defendant and others fraudulently concealed their control of shares of FCHS stock that were held in brokerage accounts in the names of other individuals or entities.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Charles N. Rose is in charge of the prosecution.
CHRISTIAN ROMANDETTI, SR.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-614 (JS)