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For Calabrigo Pump and Dump Scheme SEC Got TRO Now Its Civil Case Stayed 1 Year

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY Court Exclusive, Oct 3 – A pump and dump security fraud scheme was indicted on April 14, and it was said that DOMENIC CALABRIGO was arrested in the Bahamas and HASAN SARIO, a citizen and resident of Turkey and also charged and "remains at large."

  On April 15 in the companion SEC case, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis J. Liman held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it - and this "at large" Hasan Sario called in.

   Judge Liman asked Sario to pause, noting that also present was a lawyer who'd said he is in the process of being retained.

They adjourned for five minutes, after which the lawyer said Mr. Sario no longer wished to directly address the court.

  A lawyer who said he only represents Domenic Calabrigo in the criminal case said his client is consenting to extradition and should "be here in the Souther District soon." The SEC is seeking to freeze $39 million.  

The SEC case was set to reconvene in two weeks. But on May 16 the SEC wrote in to adjourn that, saying the Calabrigo is negotiating a Preliminary Injunction and consent to the TRO being extended for now.

On October 3, 2022, the case was stayed for (at least) a year: "OPINION AND ORDER re: [79] MOTION to Intervene; MOTION to Stay, filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The Government's motion is granted in part and denied in part. The Government's motion to intervene is granted, and the case will be stayed for a period of one year from today's date. The Government is ordered to inform the Court by no later than two weeks before the expiration of the stay whether the stay should be continued. The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to close Dkt. No. 79. SO ORDERED. Case stayed."

Back on July 7, this: "ORDER IMPOSING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION FREEZING ASSETS AND GRANTING OTHER RELIEF AS TO CURTIS ("CURT") LEHNER: NOW, THEREFORE: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Commission's application for a preliminary injunction against Lehner is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pending a final disposition of this action, Lehner - and each of his banks, financial and brokerage institutions, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with him who receive actual notice of such Order by personal service, facsimile service, telephonic notice, email notice or otherwise, and each of them - hold and retain within their control, and otherwise prevent any withdrawal, transfer, pledge, encumbrance, assignment, dissipation, concealment or other disposal (including the use of any credit cards or any other incurring of debt) of any assets, funds, or other property (including money, virtual currency or other digital asset, real or personal property, tangible assets, securities, commodities, choses in action or other property of any kind whatsoever in whatever form such assets may presently exist and wherever located) of, held by, or under the control of Lehner, whether held in his name or for his direct or indirect beneficial interest, and directing each of the financial or brokerage institution, debtors and bailees, or any other person or entity holding such assets, funds, or other property of Lehner to hold or retain within its or his control and prohibit the withdrawal, removal, transfer or other disposal of any such assets, funds, or other properties, including without limitation all assets, funds, or other properties held in Lehner's name, held by Lehner, or under Lehner's control, including but not limited to the assets listed in Schedule A, up to the total value of $39.6 million. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Lehner, and each of his agents, services, employees and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with him who receive actual notice of this Order by personal service or otherwise, including via facsimile or email transmission, or overnight delivery service, and each of them, shall, within five days of receiving actual notice of this Order, take such steps as are necessary to repatriate and deposit into the registry of the Court in an interest bearing account, the assets listed on Schedule A (other than real property and life insurance policies). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Lehner, and any person or entity acting at the direction of or on behalf of him, is enjoined and restrained from destroying, altering, or concealing all documents, books, and records that are in the possession, custody, or control of him, his respective agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with him, including documents that concern the allegations in the Complaint or Lehner's assets or finances. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, as provided in the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d)(2), this Order shall be, and is, binding upon Lehner and each of his respective agents, servants, employees and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with them and who receive actual notice of this Order by personal service, facsimile, email, overnight courier, or otherwise. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Lewis J. Liman on 7/7/2022)."

On July 11 as to Sario, who did not consent to a preliminary injunction, Judge Liman declined to convert the TRO into a PI, ruling that "the evidence here does not provide the Court a sufficient basis to infer than Sario was involved in the fraudulent conduct necessary to support even an asset freeze... This decision will take effect on July 13 at 5 pm."

 Inner City Press will stay on this case. It is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Calabrigo, et al., 22-cv-3096 (Liman). 

The criminal case is US v. Lehner, et al., 21-cr-121 (Berman) 


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