The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Thunderbird Power Corp., an Arizona-based company claiming to be developing a wind turbine technology, and three individuals for defrauding investors out of more than $1.9 million in the unregistered offer and sale of Thunderbird stock.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Thunderbird’s CEO Richard Hinds (of Arizona), former Thunderbird president Anthony Goldstein (of Canada), and consultant John Alexander “Lex” van Arem (of Canada) orchestrated the fraudulent offering and were responsible for numerous false and misleading statements in offering materials, press releases, and a YouTube video regarding the status of the wind turbine technology, purported validation of the technology by a nationally known firm, and Thunderbird’s use of investor proceeds. The complaint further alleges that Goldstein and van Arem retained a national network of sales agents to email and cold call prospective investors using the false claims. According to the complaint, Hinds, Goldstein, and van Arem misappropriated nearly $850,000, representing more than 40 percent of investor funds, to enrich themselves and pay the sales agents to seek out more unsuspecting investors.
“As alleged in our complaint, the defendants solicited investors with false statements about Thunderbird’s wind turbine technology and then used those investor funds to wrongly enrich themselves and finance their ongoing fraud,” said Eric I Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. “Investors should be wary of unsolicited offers of investment and carefully research a company’s business and products before investing.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, charges Thunderbird, Hinds, Goldstein, and van Arem with violating the securities registration, broker-dealer registration, and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and penny stock bars, and also seeks officer and director bars against Hinds and Goldstein.
The SEC’s case was supervised by Elisha L. Frank and Glenn S. Gordon. Robert K. Levenson is leading the SEC’s litigation under the supervision of Andrew O. Schiff.