BOSTON – The sole officer and director of a Massachusetts marketing firm was charged today in connection with misappropriating tens of thousands of dollars of investor funds to pay his personal expenses.
Christopher R. Esposito, 55, of Everett, was charged and has agreed to plead guilty to one count of securities fraud. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled by the Court.
As alleged in the charging documents, Esposito served as officer and director of Code2Action, Inc., a purported mobile marketing firm. Between August 2019 and February 2020, Esposito allegedly sold company shares to existing shareholders at sub-penny prices based on material misstatements and omissions and then misappropriated much of the proceeds. Specifically, it is alleged that Esposito deliberately misled prospective investors about, among other things, Code2Action’s plan and ability to complete a reverse merger, which Esposito touted would enable the investors to sell their shares at a profit. It is further alleged that Esposito misappropriated over $57,000 to pay his personal expenses and failed to disclose to prospective investors, among other things, that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had previously obtained a final judgment against him for committing securities fraud and barred him from certain securities-related activities.
The charge of securities fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Drabick of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.