After pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and one count of tax evasion, William Lieberman was sentenced in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut to 84 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Federal prosecutors had alleged that between about 2010 and July 2016, Lieberman had engaged in a "pump and dump" scheme whereby he and his co-conspirators induced investors to purchase securities included Terra Energy Resources Ltd. (stock symbol "TRRE"); Mammoth Energy Group, Inc. (stock symbol "MMTE"), a company that later became Strategic Asset Leasing Inc. (stock symbol "LEAS"); Trilliant Exploration Corporation (stock symbol "TTXP"); Hermes Jets, Inc. (stock symbol "HRMJ"), which later became Continental Beverage Brands Corporation (stock symbol "CBBB"); Dolat Ventures, Inc. (stock symbol "DOLV"), and Fox Petroleum, Inc. (stock symbol "FXPT"). At various times, Lieberman was the Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board, President, Secretary, and Treasurer of Mammoth Energy Group, Inc.; the President, Chief Executive officer, and Chairman of the Board of Strategic Asset Leasing Inc.; the President, Chief Accounting Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary, and Treasurer of Fox Petroleum, Inc.; and the Chief Executive Officer, President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Chief Financial Officer of Trilliant Exploration Corporation. As part of the scheme, Lieberman purportedly arranged for attorneys to sign false and misleading opinion letters that were designed to provide assurances to securities transfer agents and prospective investors. After selling their own shares at a profit, the conspirators allowed the price of the securities to fall, leaving investors with worthless and unsalable stock. As a result, more than 12,000 victim investors collectively lost nearly $19 million. Between 2011 and 2015, Lieberman allegedly earned about $1.2 million through this scheme, which he failed to report to the Internal Revenue Service, evading $436,235 in federal income taxes for the 2011 through 2015 tax years. As part of his sentencing, Lieberman was ordered to $5,301,694 in restitution and $436,235 to the IRS. Co-conspirators Christian Meissenn, Corey Brinson, Diane Dalmy and three other individuals also pleaded guilty to various offenses stemming from this scheme. Brinson and Dalmy were each sentenced to 36 months of imprisonment; Damian Delgado a/k/a "Michael Neumann" was sentenced to 84 months of imprisonment. Brian Ferraioli and Thomas Heaphy, Jr., were each sentenced to 72 months of imprisonment. Meissenn awaits sentencing.
Another day, another FINRA arbitration, and another complaint from BrokeAndBroker.com Blog's publisher Bill Singer, Esq about the lack of quality control over FINRA's arbitration decisions. Pointedly, Bill cites the lack of content and context sufficient to render a decision intelligible. On top of all of that, today's featured arbitration involves two interesting quirks: the Claimant is a FINRA funding portal member and the arbitration forum waived the firm's member surcharge and fees.
Vdoutie Hoobraj a/k/a "Shivonie Deokaran" pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to an information alleging wire fraud in connection with defrauding donors by falsely claiming that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and needed money to pay for her treatments. She was sentenced to 24 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $51,938 forfeiture and $47,741.20 restitution. As set forth in part in the DOJ Press Release: