Florida Man Charged with Manipulating Publicly Traded Stocks in Multiyear “Pump and Dump” Securities Fraud Scheme Worth Over $19 Million
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jeffrey D. Martin, 61, of Orlando, FL, was charged by Superseding Indictment with conspiracy and multiple counts of securities fraud and wire fraud, related to his manipulation of several publicly-traded securities in a “pump and dump” scheme in which Martin and his co-schemers allegedly defrauded investors out of over $19 million.
According to the Superseding Indictment, from about April 2012 until December 2019, Martin and others allegedly manipulated the stock of Mainstream Entertainment, Inc., now known as Volt Solar Systems, Inc., Resort Savers, Inc., Axiom Corp., Virtual Medical International, Inc., and Union Bridge Holdings, Ltd. The alleged manipulation involved fraudulent press releases, fraudulent securities disclosures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other fraudulent communications, as well as manipulative stock trading. The defendant and others were thus allegedly able to fraudulently inflate the price of the stock, and then sell their own shares at inflated prices and reap illicit proceeds—a classic “pump and dump” scheme. Through this conspiracy, Martin and his co-conspirators allegedly defrauded investors to enrich themselves; Martin himself received more than $989,000 in illicit proceeds from the sale of over-inflated stock of just one of the companies.
“Pump and dump stock schemes have real victims: those who play by the rules and save and invest in the markets,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Market manipulation also causes generalized harm to the markets and to our economy because it erodes public trust that the markets are free and fair. Thanks to the excellent work of the FBI, SEC, and prosecutors from my Office, Martin will now face the consequences of his alleged actions.”
“Pump and dump schemers enrich themselves on the backs of innocent investors, turning a pile of lies into a mountain of money,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. “The FBI is committed to cracking down on such harmful market manipulation, in order to protect both the investing public and the integrity of the financial system.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 245 years imprisonment, a $12.5 million fine, a 3-year period of supervised release, and a $1,200 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Rinaldi. The U.S. Attorney’s Office appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.