San Luis Obispo man target of federal securities investigation

October 9, 2015

Securties fraud 2By KAREN VELIE

Federal authorities are investigating several companies suspected of involvement in an alleged securities and wire fraud scheme. Some of the companies are owned by a San Luis Obispo man, his wife or his girlfriend, according to public records.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation focuses on Michael Forster, 50. He is suspected of being a “stock promoter” who through various nominees has participated in a “pump-and-dump” penny stock scheme. Pump and dump is the fraudulent practice of encouraging others to buy shares in a company in order to inflate the price artificially, and then selling shares while the price is high.

According to court papers, the SEC believes Michael Forster has been promoting stocks of several companies without disclosing that those companies paid him to promote the stocks.

In addition, the SEC is investigating allegations that Michael Forster is paying compensation to stock brokers, including Monarch Bay Securities in El Segundo, to trade the stocks he is promoting.

In court records, the SEC says Michael Forster maintains Monarch Bay Securities accounts in the name of Amy Swanson Chaffe, 39, identified in the records as Forster’s girlfriend. Swanson Chaffe told CalCoastNews she does not know Michael Forster.

Michael Forster operates under several alter egos including SLO 3 Holdings LLC and Gidapis LLC, according to court records. Both SLO 3 Holdings and Gidapis are located at 895 Pismo Street in San Luis Obispo. Michael Forster is the agent for process of service for SLO 3 Holdings and Amy Swanson is the agent for process of service for Gidapis, according to the California Secretary of State website.

In February, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a subpoena against Michael Forster. The subpoena asked for documentation of bank accounts, security accounts, communications with brokers and off-shore accounts.

In addition, the SEC ordered Michael Forster to preserve documents related to San Luis Obispo-based Power Save Energy Company. In the past, Michael Forster served as the energy company’s chief executive officer and his wife Kathleen Forster, 58, was listed as the company’s chief financial officer, according to the SEC.

On August 6, the SEC announced it had filed a subpoena enforcement action against Michael Forster and that the court had entered an order directing Forster to show cause why he should not be ordered to comply with the subpoena.

Michael and Kathleen Forsters’ San Diego based attorney, Charles Goldberg, has battled against compliance with the subpoena by asserting Michael Forster’s rights against self incrimination because of a related federal criminal probe, according to court records.

On Sept. 18, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christos Georgalis informed Michael Forster he was the subject of a criminal investigation.

“This letter is to inform you that you are the target of a federal investigation into allegations relative to violations of title 18, U.S. Code 1349, conspiracies to commit securities and wire fraud, among other federal violations,” the Sept. 18 letter says.

Also on Sept. 18, the court ordered the SEC to submit a brief supporting their subpoena by Oct. 13. The Forsters will then have three days to respond, according to court records.


“Swanson Chaffe told CalCoastNews she does not know Michael Forster”, wishful thinking, but, it’s a little late for that. Quick, hide the wedding ring(s)…. Married, is what I hear.


…. to each other…..


We must have the highest number of conmen per capita in the country..hagmaier, moriarty, yaguda, Guthrie, gearharts, forrest…the list goes on and on. It’s incredible.


You are absolutely correct.. And there are a lot of public figures involved as well. People don’t understand that these guys work and travel in packs because they all depend on each other for their part in the grift. Lots of locals drawn into it too


How do I contact the writer of the story. There are several things learned this weekend that can open this even bigger for both the SEC and the DOJ.


If you are doing your own research and want any info that I’ve found or to share info, please feel free to email me as well. I think the SEC is going to need all the help it can get. They have been going after these guys for years and haven’t seem to have made much of a dent.


I also wanted to state no wonder our country has gone to hell because no one seems to use common sense anymore. I read on line that aliens live amoung us, so it must be true. Oh I forgot there is a cow out there that makes chocolate milk, must be true. Seriously, guy, wife and girlfriend and wife okay with it. Use the brain God gave you before you comment on that.


The seven deadly sins: gluttony, lust, sloth, pride, envy, anger and GREED. When life is not in balance….they can make a good news story.


I can’t believe how far down the rabbit hole this thing goes. I started to dig until it finally occurred to me that I was looking at a very slick con game. If anyone was looking for the cretins that ran Global Crossings (and thousands of small shady “telecom” providers affiliated with it) or the old penny stock “boiler rooms” I think I’ve found them. Apparently they just scatter and then migrate back together into a new creature. This time bogus it’s “green energy” companies with seriously questionable business models, mineral mine companies that never produce anything, and “internet marketing.” And it’s that last part where things really go off the rails, because the marketing promotes the stock of the shell companies.

The most disconcerting thing though, is that the SEC doesn’t seem to be able to do a whole lot about it.


I am glad they got caught

My wife and daughter is falling for stuff like that and disbelieve me when I tell them that these how to get rich schemes are a bunch a crooks


Forget about this SEC stuff, this guys is a CON ARTIST, plain and simple. This town is full of them, and for some reason people keep getting enamored by them.

Here is his site and one of his products

Here is an explanation from the NIST why it’s a scam


HOLY COW!!! This guy is in DEEP!!! Check out just the surface level of his web of craziness.


“If homeowners wanted to help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced, they could install a device,” Misakian says, “but they would also have to consider the greenhouse gases generated during the fabrication of the device itself.”

The answer to the scam is a scam itself, more debunked global warming BS.


Totally irrelevant. The point is that the device accomplishes nothing, including it’s primary claim that it will save the user money. It is a completely useless device that is fairly easy to make.. They also sell solar panels but not REALLY because they care about being “green.” It’s because they can sell them easily, without really understanding anything about the technology or having to provide an actual service, by promising the customer that government programs will cover the cost. But all they are selling you is a couple of parts, and you still have to install it. It’s basically for the purpose of being able to claim the shell companies are legitimate. They move the inventory and all operations from shell company to shell company.


Free market capitalism, buyer beware. The Republicans’ main objective at this time is to repeal Dodd-Frank and allow another “too-big-fail” trillion dollar taxpayer bail-out (“too big too fail”) of the derivative market. It’s called “disaster capitalism. Why should the small guys get shut out?


Let me guess–your car has a Bernie 2016″ sticker on it, right?


CCN has written about this family before


Good grief. If ever there was an example of inequal justice due to social status and money, this is it. La Barbera’s comments are repugnant. “Get on with your life” he tells the murdered woman’s husband? Anyway, looks like this fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Guess Michael Forster will have to call in those favors again like he did for his son. Maybe this time things will be different.


Barry LaBarbera should move to Chicago, where he will be right at home.

His history of rulings are outrageously lenient. He is unfair and unjust.


O.k. not to make light of this but I’m still trying to get past the first paragraph. This guy, his wife and his girlfriend? Sounds like the wife must know (of girlfriend), so if the case, this must be the most UNDERSTANDING wife in existence. Probably why (if he broke the law) she had no problem with that.


My thoughts exactly.


Uh, why do you think his business is called “SLO 3 Holdings LLC”? SLO 3(some) Holdings is more like it!