All you underpaid and unemployed
folks trying to get by in today's bad economy can file this one away in the "Why Didn't I Think of That?" category. Don't worry -- most of us wouldn't believe we could successfully sell loads of fake stock in a non-existent Filipino gold-mining corporation. But according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials, Foster City resident Elvira Gamboa, 57, did just that -- and made off with a nice pot of cash.
On Friday, the SEC filed suit
against Gamboa in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, claiming that she fraudulently sold close to 2 billion shares in an enterprise known as Pearl Asian Mining Industries, Inc. According to the SEC complaint, the company is "nothing but a shell used by Gamboa to generate stock sale profits." Gamboa even issued a steady string of press releases talking up the corporation's "state-of-the-art gold mill plant facility" and a novel system for refining precious metals that would save the company $10 million per year.
However, "The 'refining system' [the company] purchased was a small
machine from a jewel product supplier for which [it] paid $595 over the
Internet," the complaint states. "In fact, the machine was broken when
delivered, and [the company] never used it for any purpose." Behold the
SEC, where masters of deadpan are made.
The agency alleges that Gamboa made off with at least $1 million from this
scheme, and that an unnamed New York-based outfit sold stock
acquired from her at a total return of $5.4 million. We'll keep an eye on where this one goes. In the meantime, please reread the first three words of the above headline... you know the rest.
Photo | covilha.
H/T | CourthouseNews.com