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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Stock Promoter Convicted In $131 Million Market Manipulation Scheme

Defendant Made Profit Using Phony Wealth Research Institute to Dupe Investors into Buying Fraudulently Inflated Stock to

Earlier today, following a two-week trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York, returned a guilty verdict on all counts against Louis Petrossi, a former registered broker, for his role in a $131 million fraudulent promotion and market manipulation scheme involving ForceField Energy Inc. (ForceField), a publicly-traded company listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “FNRG.” The defendant used a company called the Wealth Research Institute to induce investors to purchase ForceField stock, for which he received a secret ten percent commission. Petrossi and others also engaged in illegal trading to fraudulently increase the value of the stock. The defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and securities fraud. Petrossi is the ninth defendant convicted in this case.

When sentenced by United States District Judge Brian M. Cogan, Petrossi faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.

The verdict was announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting 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).

Ms. Rohde thanked the FBI for its hard work and dedication in leading the investigation and expressed her appreciation to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., Criminal Prosecution Assistance Group (FINRA CPAG) for their cooperation and assistance.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mark E. Bini and Lauren H. Elbert of the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.

The Defendant:

 

Louis Petrossi

Age: 76

Reno, Nevada

 

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-234 (BMC)

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
StopFraud
Updated May 2, 2017