- Terelle Jerricks
Fourteen people were arrested for their involvement in stock market manipulation schemes that caused over 20,000 investors to lose over $30 million when artificially inflated stock prices collapsed.
The arrests were made Feb. 13 after the grand jury released two indictments which detail large-scale fraud schemes in which the conspirators gained majority control over the stock of publicly traded companies, concealed their control of the stock by using offshore accounts and then fraudulently inflated the prices.
They then traded much of the companies’ stocks through slick marketing campaigns, misleading press releases, payments to stock promoters, and “cross-trading” among co-conspirators that made it appear the stocks were being actively traded.
These arrests are the result of an ongoing investigation being conducted by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. This investigation resulted in the interception of more than 60,000 phone calls and 24,000 text messages obtained through wiretapping.
If convicted, each of the defendants could face a maximum penalty of at least 100 years in federal prison