United States v. Ryan Mark Reynolds
Court Docket Number: 1:11-cr-20131-JEM-9
This case is assigned to the Honorable Judge Richard W. Goldberg, a visiting judge who will be sitting in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse, 400 North Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida.
On March 1, 2013, Judge Goldberg entered a final restitution order as part of the Judgment in this case directing defendants Curshen, Montgomery, Krome, Barham, Weidenbaum and Reynolds to pay, jointly and severally, a total amount of approximately $808,372.32 in restitution. Payments will be made to the victims in the amounts and to the payees identified in the Motion and the list provided by the Office of Probation. However, no disbursements will be made until the defendants’ properties are forfeited and the funds are available for restitution.
No predictions can be made as to when this will happen or when the monies will be distributed. Although the restitution process is often quite time consuming, the government will do everything it can to handle it as quickly as possible.
On October 19, 2012, Ryan Mark Reynolds was sentenced to 39 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release on guilty pleas entered in two separate fraud cases. In United States v. Ryan Mark Reynolds, the defendant pleaded guilty in May 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud (Count 1: 18 U.S.C. § 371) stemming from a "pump and dump" stock manipulation scheme affecting ConnectAJet.com, Inc. (CAJT) stock. In United States v. Jonathan Randall Curshen et al., Reynolds pleaded guilty in January 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud (Count 1: 18 U.S.C. § 371) stemming from a different securities fraud "pump and dump" manipulation scheme involving another company's stock. Reynolds also was ordered in January 2012 to forfeit $400,000. Six co-defendants have pleaded guilty or have been convicted for their roles in the fraud scheme charged in Curshen et al. and three individuals are fugitives.
According to plea documents in Reynolds, the defendant admitted that he and his co-conspirators agreed to defraud public investors in the CAJT stock by manipulating and artificially inflating the demand for and price of CAJT shares and then selling CAJT shares at the inflated price, thus causing losses to public investors who purchased the shares. Reynolds admitted that he and his co-conspirators obtained free trading shares of CAJT and then manipulated and inflated the demand for and the market price of CAJT shares through contrived trading and false and misleading publicity about the company. They admitted that they enriched themselves at the expense of public investors by selling their shares of CAJT at the artificially inflated market price, and concealed their involvement in and responsibility for the fraudulent manipulation of the market for CAJT shares.
In Curshen et al., Reynolds admitted that he and others coordinated trades by purchasing shares of CO2 Tech on the open market. After fraudulently "pumping" the market price and demand for CO2 Tech stock through false and misleading press releases and coordinated trades, Reynolds and others "dumped" shares by selling them for large profits to the general investing public in the over-the-counter market through listings on Pink Sheets. These shares were purchased by unsuspecting investors and were often rendered virtually worthless. In addition, two other co-conspirators pleaded guilty to separate criminal informations relating to the CO2 Tech scheme.
Related cases: Co-defendants Curshen and Nathan Bradley Montgomery, who were initially charged with Reynolds in this case, were sentenced for their jury convictions on May 11, 2012. Curshen was sentenced to 20 years in prison (concurrent as to counts) and ordered to forfeit $7,375,943.48, jointly and severally with Montgomery, with restitution to be determined at a later date. Montgomery was sentenced to 40 months in prison, with forfeiture and restitution to be determined at a later date. Each was also sentenced to three years supervised release. In a related civil matter, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint on February 18, 2011, in the Southern District of Florida charging Curshen, Krome, Salazar Morales, Weinbaum and Zigdon with violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Robert Lloyd Weidenbaum is charged with aiding and abetting certain of Weinbaum and Zigdon's violations.
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