GUILTY PLEA BRINGS FIRST CONVICTION RESULTING FROM FBI UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION OF STOCK FRAUD IN THE MICROCAP MARKET
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce the October 29, 2010 guilty plea of defendant Jean "Richard" Charbit, of Miami. Charbit pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the investing public by manipulating the quoted share price and volume of a publicly traded company.
According to the court documents, Charbit and others attempted to pay illegal inducement payments to a stock broker to induce the stock broker to misuse client accounts to buy worthless or overvalued shares of stock. Charbit and others did this to artificially raise demand for the stock, allowing the stock holders to dump their holdings into the market at inflated prices.
This guilty plea marks the first conviction obtained through the U.S. Attorney's and FBI's ongoing effort to identify and prosecute securities fraud offenders doing business in the Southern District of Florida. Sentencing has been scheduled for January 14, 2011 before U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro. At sentencing, Charbit faces a statutory maximum of up to 5 years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the cooperative efforts of the Miami Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Dwight O'Quinn.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.