"Boiler Room" Operator Pleads Guilty to International Securities Fraud Conspiracy
Defendant and Co-Conspirators Manipulated the Price and Trading Volume of a Publicly Traded Stock in the United States
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Lee Cohen, a citizen of the United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud for his role in a scheme to manipulate the price and trading volume of HD View, 360, Inc. (HDVW), a publicly traded company that purported to distribute and install security surveillance systems. In connection with his plea, Cohen also admitted that he agreed to launder money that was purported to be the proceeds of similar securities fraud schemes. The proceeding was held before United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto. When sentenced, Cohen faces up to five years in prison.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) announced the guilty plea.
“Cohen ran his scam from a ‘boiler room’ more than 8,000 miles from the federal courtroom in Brooklyn where he pleaded guilty today to defrauding investors, proving that distance will never protect criminals from the reach of our Office’s outstanding attorneys and FBI Special Agents who brought the defendant to justice,” stated United States Attorney Peace.
Mr. Peace thanked the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Regional Office and Washington, D.C. Office, for their assistance in the case.
As set forth in court filings, Cohen operated a self-described “boiler room” in the Philippines. Cohen and his co-conspirators used the boiler room to defraud investors and potential investors in HDVW by inducing investors to buy HDVW shares at particular prices. At the same time, Cohen coordinated with a co-conspirator who controlled the majority of HDVW’s shares, then sold the shares for a profit. During the scheme, over 1,000 investors purchased shares of HDVW and lost more than $1.2 million.
In July 2022, Mr. Peace was selected as the Chairperson of the White Collar Fraud subcommittee for the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). As the leader of the subcommittee, Mr. Peace will play a key role in making recommendations to the AGAC to facilitate the prevention, investigation and prosecution of various financially motivated, non-violent crimes including mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, tax fraud, securities and commodities fraud, and identity theft.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorneys David Gopstein and Nicholas J. Moscow are in charge on the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-209 (KAM)