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Last Trade - 03/08/20

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Eight charged in New York in $290 mln stock scheme

Thu 11th September, 2014 11:25pm
By Karen Freifeld 
    NEW YORK, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Eight people were charged on 
Thursday in New York with duping thousands of investors into 
purchasing $290 million worth of penny stocks in "pump and dump" 
schemes. 
    Three of the people blasted emails "pumping" the stocks to 
thousands of potential investors, Manhattan District Attorney 
Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement announcing the 85-count 
indictment. 
    Others acquired public shell companies, merged new private 
companies into them and issued shares to themselves and 
associates in advance of the promotional push, prosecutors said. 
    Once a stock's price was artificially inflated, the schemers 
"dumped" the stock, leaving public investors with shares that 
were pretty much worthless, the prosecutors said. 
    Anthony Thompson, 38, of Bethesda, Maryland, and Jay Fung, 
40, of Delray Beach, Florida, were arraigned in state Supreme 
Court in Manhattan in connection with the scheme, which 
prosecutors said took place between 2009 and 2012. They both 
pleaded not guilty to securities fraud and other charges. 
    The pair are accused of promoting the stocks with the help 
of penny stock websites that prosecutors say they controlled, 
including OxofWallStreet.com, PennyPic.com and MonsterStox.com.  
    Hanna Schmieder, 39, of New York, and Kenneth Oxsalida, 59, 
of Sebring, Florida, also were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. 
    Schmieder, the president of Lyric Jeans Inc, and Oxsalida, 
59, president of Smart Holdings Inc, are accused of approving 
new shares in anticipation of the stock manipulation of their 
companies.  
    The four other people indicted are not yet in custody, 
prosecutors said. They are: Christopher Balseiro, of North Bay 
Village, Florida; Eric Van Nguyen, of Quebec; Joseph Dervali, of 
Pembroke Pines, Florida; and Luz Rodriguez, of Miramar, Florida. 
    Maranda Fritz, a lawyer for Thompson, said the documents 
emailed to potential investors clearly stated they were paid 
advertising.  
    Vance said in a statement that the accused profited "at the 
expense of the investing public."    
    Other companies involved included Hydrogenetics Inc 
 HYGN.PK , Xynergy Holdings Inc  XYNH.PK , Blast Applications 
Inc  BLAP.PK , and Blue Gem Enterprise Inc  BGEM.PK . 
 
 (Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Leslie Adler) 
 ((Karen.Freifeld@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6921;)) 
 
Keywords: STOCKS CRIME/SCHEME

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