SEC Claims $45 Million Fraud Tied to Airborne Wireless Stock

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Airborne Wireless Network and the California man it claims secretly controlled the company in a $45 million pump-and-dump scheme.

The SEC claims that Kalistratos “Kelly” Kabilafkas, 45, bought millions of shares of the company’s stock and inflated the stock price through a multi-million-dollar promotional campaign. Then Kabilafkas and a group of associates illegally reaped $23 million by dumping the vastly overpriced shares on the market, according to the regulator.

Airborne also fraudulently raised more than $22 million from investors, the SEC said, in a complaint filed Monday in Manhattan federal court. Kabilafkas orchestrated the fraud from August 2015 to May 2018, according to the agency.

Patrick Maloney, a lawyer who represents Airborne and Kabilafkas in a civil suit involving related claims, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment on the SEC suit.

Kabilafkas in October 2015 bought all the outstanding stock in a publicly traded shell company, Ample-Tee Inc., originally set up to focus on ergonomic products for the disabled, according to the SEC. In 2016 the company changed its name to Airborne Wireless Network and its business to “developing, marketing and licensing a high-speed meshed broadband airborne wireless network by linking commercial aircraft in flight,” it said.

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Airborne Wireless Network, 21-cv-01772, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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