Argentine Man Sentenced in Witchcraft Extortion Scheme (DOJ Release)
Ariel Boiteux pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California to the foreign transmission of an extortionate threat and was sentenced to two years in prison. As set forth in part in all its jaw-dropping detail in the DOJ Release, Boiteux and his associated operated out of Paraguay under the business name of "Amarres Immdiatos," and:
offered to perform rituals that could improve one's romantic relationships. Boiteux advertised these services on Facebook, Instagram, and MercadoLibre. The advertised services included casting spells designed to foster romantic relationships.
Clients who contacted Amarres Inmediatos soon learned that the rituals were performed remotely rather than in person. Clients were provided with a list of items to purchase, which typically included candles, alcohol, vegetables, and photographs. The ritual called for the client to drink alcohol, recite sexually explicit incantations, and perform sexual acts, all while recording the ritual. The client would then send the recordings of the ritual back to Boiteux and his associates, who would threaten to publicize the sexually explicit recordings unless the client paid an amount that far exceeded the initial price agreed upon for the ritual. In his plea agreement, Boiteux admitted to researching the clients to see who would be susceptible to extortion.
In February 2017, the plea agreement said, Boiteux obtained sensitive recordings of a client performing a ritual. The defendant researched the client's background and determined that she was a well-connected public figure with access to significant financial resources. Boiteux and his associates then contacted the client and threatened to publicize the recordings unless she paid more than $250,000.
According to the plea agreement, in the fall of 2017, an undercover agent from Homeland Security Investigations called a phone number on the Amarres Inmediatos website and offered to purchase recordings of another victim, portions of which had been uploaded to publicly-available websites in an attempt to extort that victim. Boiteux agreed to sell the recordings for thousands of dollars and instructed the undercover agent to send a money transfer through Western Union. After the agent sent the money transfer, Paraguayan law enforcement officers waited at a Western Union in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay where Boiteux had picked up a previous money transfer. As expected, Boiteux arrived a short time later to pick up the transfer, but instead was arrested by Paraguayan officers. Boiteux was extradited to San Diego in July 2018.
(1) extend the response time for non-parties to object to an order or subpoena from 10 calendar days of service to 15 calendar days of receipt of the order or subpoena;(2) exclude first-class mail as an option to serve documents on a non-party and as an option for the non-party to file the objection to the scope or propriety of the order or subpoena; and(3) codify the current practice that the Director sends, at the same time, objections and responses to the panel after the reply date has elapsed, unless otherwise directed by the panel.
[B]etween approximately 2009 and 2014, Ng conspired with others to launder billions of dollars misappropriated and fraudulently diverted from 1MDB, including funds 1MDB raised in 2012 and 2013 through three bond transactions it executed with the Financial Institution. As part of the scheme, Ng and others conspired to bribe government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain lucrative business for the Financial Institution, including the 2012 and 2013 bond deals. They also conspired to launder the proceeds of their criminal conduct through the U.S. through the promise and payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes. In the course of executing the scheme, Ng and others at the Financial Institution conspired to circumvent the Financial Institution's internal accounting controls. Through its work for 1MDB during that time, the Financial Institution received approximately $600 million in fees and revenues along with increased reputational prestige. At the same time, Ng and other co-conspirators at the Financial Institution received large bonuses and enhanced their own reputations at the Financial Institution. In total, Ng and the other co-conspirators misappropriated more than $2.7 billion from 1MDB. Low remains at large.
leadership role in the production and sale of counterfeit tickets to sporting events, including the National Football League's Super Bowl LI (51) in Houston (between the Patriots and the Falcons) and Super Bowl LII (52) in Minneapolis (between the Eagles and the Patriots), a National Basketball Association All-Star game, National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship football and basketball games, and other sporting events and concerts. The counterfeit tickets bore the authentic trademarks of the respective organization or agency that was registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Smith sold the counterfeit tickets at the various venues and also distributed the counterfeit tickets to other sellers nationwide for resale to victims.Smith targeted events and victims based on profitability - the bigger the event, the bigger the payoff. The scheme involved several steps and multiple players: after determining which events would draw the most profit, Smith provided a real ticket to the event to his printer for use in the production of multiple tickets for the event. Smith would then travel to venues to sell the counterfeit tickets or he provided the counterfeit tickets to other sellers to resell to unwitting fans. This scheme involved sophisticated printing that mimicked the authentic tickets' markings and hologram.At Smith's sentencing hearing, Eric Ferguson, who was also charged with the same offenses, testified that he was recruited by Smith to produce the counterfeit tickets for the sporting events and concerts. The government presented evidence that the face value of the counterfeit tickets printed by Ferguson was at least $170,000, but the government estimated that the actual resale value of the tickets, particularly the Super Bowl tickets, far exceeded their face value.
[T]he Registration Statement contained material misstatements and omissions; and that Starkot failed to cooperate with, and attempted to obstruct, Commission staff's examination of the Registration Statement pursuant to Section 8(e) of the Securities Act. The OIP ordered Starkot to file an Answer within ten days after service of the OIP and ordered that a hearing on the allegations commence at 9:30 a.m. on May 6, 2019 . .
SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Former Broker for Defrauding Customers (SEC Release)
In a Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the SEC alleged that alleges that from July 2012 to October 2014, Rocco Roveccio recommended to seven customers a pattern of high-cost, in-and-out trading without any reasonable basis to believe that his customers could make a profit; and that said trades resulted in losses for the customers and gains for Roveccio. Also, Roveccio allegedly lied to his customers about the accounts' profit-potential; and he engaged in unauthorized trading and churning. The Court entered a final consent judgment, which permanently enjoins Roveccio from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and orders him to pay $324,614, consisting of $147,115 in disgorgement, $17,499 in prejudgment interest and a civil penalty of $160,000. Separately, the SEC instituted settled administrative proceedings against Roveccio; and thereafter, without admitting or denying the findings, Roveccio consented to an SEC order https://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2019/34-85780.pdf barring him from the securities industry and penny stock trading. Roveccio was formerly associated with Alexander Capital L.P., and in June 2018, the SEC filed settled charges against the broker-dealer and two of its managers, including Roveccio's former supervisor; and in September 2017 and March 2019., the SEC also settled with two other former Alexander Capital brokers.