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Press Release

California Attorney Sentenced for Selling Unregistered Securities

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A California attorney was sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with the illegal sale of over $1.3 million worth of unregistered shares of a Massachusetts-based health care company. 

Daniel V. Martinez, 64, of Yuba City, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. Martinez was also ordered to pay a fine of $7,500 and forfeit $110,999. In December 2022, Martinez pleaded guilty to one count of sale of unregistered securities. 

Between 2013 and 2016, Martinez served as a real-estate attorney for Avtar Singh Dhillon, who was then chairman of the Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, Arch Therapeutics, Inc. Dhillon and Martinez placed 2.75 million Arch Therapeutics shares that Dhillon beneficially owned into a limited liability company that Martinez created and for which Martinez was the sole manager. At Dhillon’s direction, Martinez then sold the shares in the open market without a valid exemption under the relevant securities laws and distributed the approximately $1.34 million in proceeds. Martinez distributed the proceeds primarily to third parties for Dhillon’s benefit, taking a small portion directly for himself. 

In December 2022, Dhillon pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to disclose stock sales, one count of aiding and abetting the sale of unregistered securities and one count of touting compensation nondisclosure conspiracy. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23, 2024. 

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Office made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by SEC’s headquarters and Boston regional office. Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Drabick of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated October 12, 2023

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud