State Bar Court of California suspends Orange County attorney for involvement in securities fraud scheme

By Olivia Olsen | Jun 6, 2017

LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently placed Richard Oliver Weed, a Newport Beach attorney, on an interim suspension after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. 

The November 28 decision stems from a scheme in which Weed, Thomas Brazil and Coleman Flaherty  allegedly attempted to inflate the stock sale price for CitySide Tickets, a company the attorney helped become a publicly traded entity, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Weed’s role allegedly was to create false letters and documents to help add legitimacy to Brazil's and Flaherty’s claims that TicketMaster was going to take over CitySide. 

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts found Weed guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.

The type of scheme the defendants allegedly ran is known as a "pump and dump" scheme, which involves the perpetrators promoting a stock they own or have a large interest in so that others will purchase the stock in large quantities and inflate the price. Once the shares reach a certain desired number, the scammers will dump their shares, rendering any remaining stocks useless.

Brazil and Flaherty allegedly dumped their shares for a purported $3 million, part of which was paid to Weed for his services.

The California State Bar will continue to investigate the matter to determine what further discipline, if any, is warranted.

The Orange County attorney has been a member of the California State Bar since 1993. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the St. Mary’s University School of Law. Weed had no prior record of discipline. 

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