Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty in Stock Purchase Scheme
Falsely Claimed to Obtain Under Armour Stock at Favorable Prices
Baltimore, Maryland - Ronald Kevin Bowen, age 43, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud investors seeking to purchase stock in Under Armour, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“Mr. Bowen used Under Armour’s name, without the company’s knowledge or permission, to entice unsuspecting investors to give him money to purchase Under Armour stock. Through this scheme, Mr. Bowen bilked investors of over $233,000,” said United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the statement of facts, in August 2005, a woman that Bowen had been dating began working for Under Armour, Inc., in Baltimore. In October 2005, Bowen began contacting potential investors around the country, falsely representing that he had an opportunity to purchase on their behalf Under Armour stock called “friends and family stock,” through his friend’s employment with Under Armour. Bowen told investors that Under Armour employees had an option to purchase the stock at a favorable price during the company’s initial public offering. In fact, Under Armour never offered “friends and family stock” to anyone as part of its initial public offering. Investors mailed checks to Bowen so he could purchase Under Armour stock on their behalf, but Bowen never used the money to purchase Under Armour stock, but spent it on personal expenses.
On January 9, 2006 Bowen emailed investors falsely stating that he had purchased Under Armour stock and falsely advising that the market price for the stock had increased by 172%. Beginning in January 2006, Bowen falsely stated to investors that an additional 12,958 shares of Under Armour stock were available because other investors were willing to sell the stock that they had purchased during the initial public offering. Based on that misrepresentation, some of the investors sent Bowen more money to purchase additional stock.
As a result of this scheme, from November 9, 2005 to March 28, 2006 Bowen obtained approximately $233,000 from investors, which the plea agreement requires him to pay back.
Bowen faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison at his sentencing, which has been scheduled by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles for February 23, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its investigative work and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Marty Clarke, who is prosecuting the case.