Tuesday, July 5, 2016
A man who was charged with falsifying documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC just days after posting bail.
Cary Peterson, the former CEO of the New Jersey-based microcap company RVPlus, Inc., was arrested by FBI agents at the San Francisco airport in March after fabricating “clean energy” contracts that his company allegedly had with foreign governments.
Peterson launched Democrats Socially United Super PAC on June 16, just one week after posting $6,000 bail at the Essex Country Correction Facility in Newark, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The PAC identifies a man named Alexander Pidgeon as its managing director and treasurer and lists its address in Las Vegas. Peterson is the designated agent and the chief coordinator of the PAC, according to the documents.
Peterson was arrested in March for filing SEC reports in 2012 and 2013 that claimed his company, RVPlus, had a relationship with the United Nations and clean energy agreements worth $2.8 billion with the governments of Haiti, Nigeria, and Liberia, according to the SEC’s complaint. The commission found that the company had no relationship with the United Nations and that the contracts were bogus.
Additionally, Peterson claimed within the filings that RVPlus had issued numerous invoices and was owed millions of dollars on the fake contracts. RVPlus and Peterson gained control of more than 90 percent of the company’s trading shares and handed them over to individuals who sold them on the market.
A company called ECOO2, which was also founded by Peterson, reported purchasing RVPlus in 2012. The company said it was an “affiliate partner” of the United Nations Climate Convention in the press release on the purchase. The authorities found that claim to be false.
Peterson used the pseudonym “Dick Schmidt” later that year to post messages in an online investors’ forum saying that RVPlus stock was undervalued and that the prices would soon increase.
“We allege that Peterson inflated RVPlus’s finances and expected profitability,” Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, said at the time of the charges. “We also allege that using a pseudonym, he posted hundreds of messages to an online investors’ forum calling RVPlus stock ‘undervalued,’ and urging investors to ‘buy up as much as possible.’”
Peterson was charged with two counts of false certification and one count of securities fraud, with each count carrying up to 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
This is not the first Democratic Super PAC that Peterson has created.
Last year, Peterson created a pro-Bernie Sanders Super PAC—the Ready for Bernie Sanders 2016 PAC—that came under fire from both the Sanders campaign and the Federal Election Commission, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The pro-Sanders Super PAC received a $50,000 donation from actor Daniel Craig, who also donated the maximum $2,700 to the Sanders campaign.
The Democrats Socially United Super PAC did not return a request for comment.