BOSTON – A former Harrison man is named in a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission charging fraud and stock manipulation of a company that alleged expertise in homeland security services.

Clifford A. Lewis, 44, formerly of Main Street, Harrison, faces charges that he manipulated the market for his company’s stock by issuing misleading press releases announcing government contracts and revenue that were false. The company, Strategy X Inc., was based on Maple Ridge Road in Harrison from 2004 through 2007 before it became Alliance Transcription Services, based in Nevada.

Lewis now resides in Huntsville, Ala., according to the complaint.

He was the president, chief executive officer and a director of Alliance, responsible for business development and the day-to-day operations of the company.

The complaint, filed in federal district court Friday, alleges that Lewis and several other people developed a scheme to inflate the value of Alliance’s penny stock by issuing false reports about the company’s value, then selling the stock.

In one example, a press release dated April 26, 2005, claimed that Alliance (then Strategy X) had secured a $6 million contract to support Department of Defense operations. The company’s stock that was selling at 15 cents per share on April 25 shot up to 22 cents per share the next day and volume increased tenfold.

“Lewis calculated and inserted the $6 million figure into the release, despite the fact that there was no reasonable basis for it and the information was materially false and misleading,” stated the complaint.

Several other manipulations are alleged in the complaint, with the stock reaching 91 cents per share by January 2006 after Alliance announced that it clinched a $2.5 million deal between Communication Solutions Inc. and the state of Maine. No such deal was ever realized or even negotiated, according to the SEC.

The commission is seeking an injunction against Lewis and penalties. Other defendants in the complaint are facing similar charges, with additional charges of selling unsecured stock. The complaint alleges that Lewis received proceeds from the sale of that stock.

One of the participants, William D. O’Neal of Fountain Hills, Ariz., agreed to settle with the SEC before the filing. An attorney, O’Neal allegedly issued legal opinions that enabled Alliance to pursue the sale of stock in unregistered transactions.

He has agreed to pay $220,000 in penalties and is prohibited from issuing similar opinions in the future.


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