Melville-Based Boiler Room Employees Sentenced to Prison for Their Roles in $147 Million Stock Manipulation Scheme
Defendants Deceived Elderly Investors into Purchasing Stock at Inflated Prices
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Ronald Hardy, a manager at Power Traders Press, My Street Research and predecessor companies located in Melville, New York (the “boiler room”), and Dennis Verderosa, a cold-caller and account executive at the boiler room, were sentenced by United States District Judge Joanna Seybert to 10 and six years’ imprisonment, respectively, for their participation in a $147 million scheme that defrauded investors in publicly traded companies. Hardy was also ordered to forfeit the contents of a bank account and two properties he owned in Sarasota, Florida, and Verderosa was ordered to pay $341,883 in forfeiture. The amount of restitution to be paid by the defendants will be determined by the court at a later date. Hardy pleaded guilty in August 2018 to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, substantive securities fraud and money laundering, and Verderosa pleaded guilty in April 2018 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the sentences.
“Hardy and Verderosa have been punished for luring vulnerable victims, many of them in their 70s, 80s and 90s, into a web of lies in order to steal their life savings,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office will continue working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to protect investors from calculating con-men.”
Between January 2014 and July 2017, Hardy, Verderosa and 14 co-defendants participated in a scheme that defrauded investors in publicly traded companies by artificially inflating the price and trading volume of stock of the companies, and making misrepresentations in their communications with victim investors concerning the advisability of purchasing the stock and its potential profitability. The defendants, some of whom controlled stock in the manipulated companies, profited while the victim investors lost millions of dollars when the stock prices plummeted. Taped to the wall of the boiler room where the cold callers made these misrepresentations was a sign that read, “WE’LL POUND THE PHONE AND WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK, WE’LL MAKE A TON OF MONEY AND WON’T GIVE A F---.”
Ten co-defendants have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Four others are scheduled for trial.
Previously, co-defendant Emin Cohen was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and McArthur Jean to four years’ imprisonment for their roles in the scheme.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Whitman G.S. Knapp and Kaitlin T. Farrell are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant United States Attorney Tanisha R. Payne of the Office’s Civil Division is handling the forfeiture aspect of the case.
Defendants Sentenced Today:
Port Jefferson, New York
Coram, New York
Defendants Previously Sentenced:
EMIN L. COHEN (also known as “Ian Grant”)
Coram, New York
MCARTHUR JEAN (also known as “John McArthur”)
Dix Hills, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-372-10 (JS)