Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

August 20, 2018
Raheem Oliver  pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to 14 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy that defrauded elderly victims out of over $640,000. Oliver operated a magazine subscription renewal fraud scam that double or triple-bill victims, who primarily included the elderly. Oliver engaged in phone calls threatening arrest or legal action if the victims didn't pay thousands of dollars for purported renewal fees, past-due balances, fines, attorneys' fees and other legal fees, and court costs.
Bitcoin dealer Jacob Burrell Campos is being held without bail in connection with a 31-count Indictment in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California charging him with one count each of conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business, failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program, and conspiracy to structure international instrument transactions; and 28 counts of international money laundering. Allegedly, Burrell Campos sold approximately $750,000 worth of Bitcoin through 971 transactions with over 900 individual buyers throughout the United States. Deemed by federal prosecutors to be a Bitcoin "exchanger," Burrell Campos' activities allegedly constituted a "money transmitting business,"  for which he was purportedly required to register with the Department of Treasury, and comply with all anti-money laundering requirements, including reporting suspicious cash transactions. Also, Burrell is charged with the alleged transmission of 28 wire transfers totaling over $900,000 from his US bank a Taiwan bank account in the name of Bitfinex, a crypto-currency exchange located in Hong Kong.  Finally, Burrell was involved with allegedly smuggling over$1 million in U.S. dollars purportedly into the United States from Mexico, in amounts slightly less than $10,000, in order to avoid the currency reporting requirements.
Whatever the reason, you leave your broker-dealer for another firm. It may be amicable. It may not. According to industry lore as related around the office water cooler, regardless of how warm and fuzzy the parting is, your former employer will launch a multi-pronged offensive aimed at jamming you up, stealing your clients, and having a court issue a TRO against you and your new employer. Setting aside the dubious wisdom dispensed around the water cooler, TROs can, in fact, be devastating -- which is why courts are not so quick to grant them. In today's featured lawsuit, we got a Complaint filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and the Plaintiffs are seeking a TRO because they say that they've been libeled and slandered before the Securities and Exchange Commission, and FINRA got roped into the mess, and there's no end in sight for the defamation and it has to be stopped before the trial begins. 

Dutch National Sentenced to 17 Years for Multiple Fraudulent Investment Schemes (DOJ Press Release)
After a three-day bench trail in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Pieter Roor a/k/a Pedro Dispenza was convicted on two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and sentenced to 17 years in federal prison, ordered to pay in excess of $900,000 in restitution to his known victims and to forfeit his Dutch home and $3.2 million in fraudulent proceeds. From 1998 to 2010, Roor and his then-wife, Heleen Potman, operated a series of internet-based Ponzi schemes in the form of high-yield investment opportunities through the likes of Oxford Savings Club, AceInvest, MiAmigo Services, Dollar Dazzler, X-Wire, Private Clearing Brokers, the Happy Society, and We Let Your Money Grow. Roor and Potman routed investor's money globally through multiple PayPal accounts, on-line currency accounts such as eGold and eBullion, and bank accounts in Latvia, Germany, The Netherlands, Great Britain, the United States, Belize, and Egypt. In 2015, Potman pled guilty to her role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in prison. After serving  approximately one year in federal custody awaiting the resolution of her case, Potman was transported back to the Netherlands to serve the remainder of her sentence.

Following  an 11-week jury trial, former Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP partner and outside counsel to biopharmaceutical company  Retrophin Inc. Evan Greebel was convicted for his role in two interrelated fraud schemes with Retrophin CEO Martin Shkreli and others, in which Greebel, Shkreli and others stole millions of dollars in cash and stock from Retrophin and manipulated the price and trading volume of Retrophin stock. Specifically, Greebel was found to have negotiated and prepared so-called settlement agreements with various of the defrauded investors  in Shkreli's hedge funds, MSMB Capital Management LP (MSMB Capital) and MSMB Healthcare Management LP (MSMB Healthcare), which caused Retrophin to reimburse them more than $2 million in cash and stock.  Greebel also arranged for other defrauded investors to enter into sham consulting agreements with Retrophin as a means to settle liabilities owed by Shkreli and the hedge funds. Further, Greebel and Shkreli defrauded Retrophin investors by attempting to control illegally the price and trading volume of Retrophin's stock and by coneealing Shkreli's beneficial ownership and control of most of Retrophin's free-trading shares. Greebel was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to 18 months' imprisonment for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, to be followed by three years' supervised release; and ordered to pay $116,462.03 in forfeiture and $10,447,979 in restitution. 

Two Sentenced To Federal Prison For Investment Fraud (DOJ Press Release)
Leone Alfano La Cava pled guilty to and Viktoriya Johnson was found guilty by a Jury in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. La Cava was sentenced to 8 years and 1 month in prison, Johnson to 3 years and 10 months in prison, and both were ordered to forfeit four properties and two luxury vehicles. The pair had defrauded at least 85 Italian investors out of over $5 million in a scam in which La Cava solicited individuals, in Italy, to purchase real estate in Orange County that he claimed would generate guaranteed rental income. In fact, those properties either did not exist, were never owned by La Cava, Johnson, or a firm that they referenced, or had already been sold to another investor. La Cava and Johnson used portions of the funds for their own personal use.