(STL.News) – A Massachusetts man charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with misleading investors was found guilty of securities fraud and of obstructing the SEC’s investigation by a federal jury in a parallel criminal case. The SEC’s civil action remains pending.
The criminal charges against Frank Reynolds arose from the same conduct alleged in the SEC’s complaint against Reynolds and his company, PixarBio Corporation. The SEC’s complaint alleged that PixarBio, Reynolds, and PixarBio employee Kenneth Stromsland misled investors with false claims about PixarBio’s progress in developing a purported method of delivering non-opiate, post-operative pain medication. The complaint also alleged that Reynolds, his close friend M. Jay Herod, and Stromsland engaged in a fraudulent scheme to acquire and merge PixarBio with a publicly traded company and to secretly manipulate the sales of shares in the new entity. The SEC previously obtained a preliminary injunction to stop the ongoing fraud and freeze assets held by Reynolds and PixarBio. Stromsland and Herod pleaded guilty in the parallel criminal case to securities fraud and obstructing the SEC’s investigation.
A federal jury found Reynolds guilty of one count of securities fraud and three counts of obstructing an agency proceeding in the parallel criminal case. His sentencing is scheduled for February 6, 2020.