Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2022, 21:57 by Writer
A New York man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in an illegal pump-and-dump stock manipulation scheme. Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge David S. Doty sentenced the defendant, the United States Department of Justice said Thursday night.
According to court documents, Christopher James Rajkaran, 36, of Queens, New York, and Guyana, participated in a scheme to hijack and assume control over dormant public shell companies. Rajkaran and his co-defendants used their control over the companies to fraudulently manipulate and pump up the price of the companies’ stock so that they could profit from the sale of stock at inflated prices to unwitting investors.
According to court documents, Rajkaran and his co-defendants carried out the scheme by obtaining hundreds of thousands or even millions of shares of stock in dormant public shell companies that traded over-the-counter at low prices, often for less than a fraction of a penny per share. Rajkaran and his co-defendants then assumed control over the shell companies by creating and filing fake resignation letters and board resolutions purporting to announce the resignation of the existing management team and the appointment of one or more conspirators as new officers and directors of the companies. Rajkaran and his co-defendants used their control over the hijacked shell companies to issue fraudulent press releases and filings designed to fraudulently “pump up” the price of the hijacked companies’ stock. Rajkaran and his co-defendants then “dumped” their stock by selling at the fraudulently inflated prices to reap the fraudulently-obtained profits.
On October 7, 2021, Rajkaran pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. On October 14, 2021, co-defendant Mark Allen Miller, 44, of Breezy Point, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Co-defendant Saeid Jaberian, 60, of Hopkins, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud charges.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph H. Thompson and Miranda E. Dugi are prosecuting the case.