Founder of Swiss Brokerage Firm Indicted in Connection with Global Securities Fraud Scheme
BOSTON – The founder and operator of a Swiss asset management firm has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of engaging in a massive global securities fraud scheme that netted trading proceeds of approximately $164 million.
Roger Knox, 47, a citizen of the United Kingdom who resides in Switzerland, was indicted on one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. On Oct. 3, 2018, Knox was arrested and charged by criminal complaint.
Knox, together with others, operated a purported asset management firm based in Switzerland called Silverton, and later renamed Wintercap. Knox allegedly helped facilitate pump-and-dump, and other market manipulation schemes, by selling massive quantities of microcap securities on behalf of “control groups” who secretly owned the stock through nominee shareholders and who simultaneously orchestrated promotional campaigns and other efforts to artificially inflate the price and trading volume of those shares.
It is further alleged that Knox then funneled the proceeds of the securities fraud—totaling an estimated $164 million over the last three years—to co-conspirators in the United States and elsewhere through a complex money transfer system that disguised the source and nature of the funds.
The charge of securities fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or gross loss. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Boston Regional Office provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.