Notice to Potential Victims in Securities Fraud Case Involving Stocks ONPH & FPWM
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Individuals who believe they may be potential victims are encouraged to notify the U.S. Attorney’s Office
BOSTON – Joseph A. Padilla, of Carlsbad, Calif. and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston in August 2023 to his involvement as the principal stock trader in a sophisticated securities fraud scheme involving stock in the companies Oncology Pharma, Inc. (ticker symbol ONPH) and Charlestowne Premium Beverages Inc. (ticker symbol FPWM). Individuals who believe they may be potential victims of the scheme are encouraged to reach out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts.
Between in or about January and July 2021, Oncology Pharma, Inc. was a thinly traded company that traded on the over-the-counter securities market. In January 2021, Padilla engaged in manipulative trading in ONPH designed, at least in part, to artificially drive up the company’s stock price. Thereafter, Padilla facilitated the sale of approximately three million ONPH shares – which were under undisclosed common control – to investors during a promotional campaign.
Between January 2020 and April 2021, Padilla participated in a similar scheme involving the shares of Charlestowne Premium Beverages Inc., a thinly traded company that traded on the over-the-counter market. Padilla similarly orchestrated an effort designed, at least in part, to artificially increase Charlestowne’s stock price and then facilitated the sale of millions of Charlestowne’s shares during a promotional campaign.
Individuals who traded in ONPH and/or FPWM during the time periods indicated above, and who believe that they may be potential victims of this fraud, should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov. In the email, please indicate the security traded and the transaction details for the trade(s): date(s), number of shares, price, whether it was bought or sold and an assessment of gains or losses. Please indicate whether there is supporting documentation and a representative from the government will assist you in transferring it in a secure manner, as well as contact you with additional verification questions.
Email submissions are due by Dec. 1, 2023. For more information, visit the U.S. Attorney’s Office website: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/victim-and-witness-assistance-program/united-states-v-padilla-et-al
Padilla is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 1, 2023, at 3:00 pm in U.S. District Court in Boston, Courtroom 21, One Courthouse Way, Boston, Mass.
Padilla’s co-defendant, Kevin C. Dills, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial on Feb. 12, 2024, in in U.S. District Court in Boston, One Courthouse Way, Boston, Mass. Dills is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated October 25, 2023
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud