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Boca Raton Man Arrested for Securities Fraud and Mail Fraud Conspiracy

Update April 8, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Sentencing set for May 14, 2020 at 10:00 AM is RESET for Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 01:30 PM, Federal Courthouse, HUNTSVILLE, AL before Judge Karon O Bowdre.

Update 05/30/19

Defendant Brian Robert Sodi pled guilty to the charges listed below. Any remaining counts will be disposed of at the time of sentencing. As a result of the guilty plea, there will be no trial involving this defendant.

 

Number of

Charges               Description of Charge(s)                             Disposition

1                           Securities Fraud                                             Guilty 

 

It is helpful for the Court to know the impact of this crime on its victims. In an effort to provide this information to the Court you may provide a Victim Impact Statement.  If you choose to complete a statement, please forward it to:

 

Tonja Benninger

United States Attorney’s Office

 Northern District of Alabama

 1801 Fourth Avenue North

Birmingham, AL 35203-2189

Update: 08/06/19

The sentencing previously scheduled for defendant(s) Brian Robert Sodi on October 3, 2019, 10:30 AM at Hugo L Black US Courthouse, Birmingham, AL has been rescheduled by the court.

The sentencing hearing for defendant(s), Brian Robert Sodi, has been set for May 14, 2020, 10:00 AM at Hugo L Black US Courthouse, Birmingham, AL before Judge Karon Bowdre. You are welcome to attend this proceeding; however, unless you have received a subpoena, your attendance is not required by the Court. If you plan on attending, you may want to verify the date and time by using the VNS Call Center or website. If you are a victim of the charged offense(s) and wish to speak at sentencing, please call our office well in advance of the scheduled hearing date.

Update 05/30/19

Defendant Brian Robert Sodi pled guilty to the charges listed below. Any remaining counts will be disposed of at the time of sentencing. As a result of the guilty plea, there will be no trial involving this defendant.

Update 3/12/19

A status hearing is scheduled before Judge Herman Johnson for March 14, 2019, 01:00 PM at Federal Courthouse, Huntsville, AL for defendant(s) Brian Robert Sodi. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if there are issues that the Court needs to address and to schedule any necessary future court dates.

Update 2/01/2019

A status hearing is scheduled before Judge Herman Johnson for February 14, 2019, 10:30 AM at Federal Courthouse, Huntsville, AL for defendant(s) Brian Robert Sodi. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if there are issues that the Court needs to address and to schedule any necessary future court dates.

Update 8/20/18

A status hearing is scheduled before Judge Herman Johnson for November 5, 2018, 10:00 AM at Federal Courthouse, Huntsville, AL for defendant(s) Brian Robert Sodi. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if there are issues that the Court needs to address and to schedule any necessary future court dates.

Update 5/29/18:  The trial previously scheduled for defendant Brian Robert Sodi on August 6, 2018, 09:00 AM at Hugo L. Black US Courthouse, Birmingham, AL has been rescheduled by the court. This website will continue to be updated to provide you with case scheduling and event information.

 


BIRMINGHAM – The FBI on Thursday recently arrested a Florida man on securities and mail fraud charges related to a multi-million dollar scheme involving highly speculative, low-priced penny stocks, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr.

A ten-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges BRIAN ROBERT “Mailman” SODI, 46, of Boca Raton, with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and mail fraud, and related charges.

“Financial crimes prey on the unsuspecting public and undermine the integrity of the nation’s stock exchanges,” Town said. “Pump-and-dump schemes like this must be disrupted by law enforcement before they disrupt market forces.”

According to the indictment, Sodi used his Florida-based publishing houses to distribute deceptive promotional mailers recommending the purchase of select penny stocks, while hiding from potential investors that he secretly was selling the stocks he was urging them to buy. The indictment also charges that Sodi obscured his involvement in the scheme by using offshore accounts and intermediaries to launder the proceeds of his fraud back to himself and his publishing houses.

According to the indictment, Sodi conducted his scheme as follows:

He would acquire shares of a publicly-traded stock, positioning himself to benefit from selling the shares at inflated prices. Sodi would try to induce the public to purchase the stock by developing and disseminating promotional and marketing mailers that exaggerated the stock’s prospects for growth and urged readers to purchase it. The mailers would falsely and deceptively conceal and fail to disclose that Sodi intended to sell the stock he was urging others to buy. After the stock price rose, Sodi would sell the stock for a profit.

Sodi hid his ownership interest in the promoted stock by trading through Arliss, a shell company used to open a Swiss account, instead of through a brokerage account held in his own name. He brought the proceeds of his fraud back to himself and his publishing houses through offshore accounts held by firms in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and elsewhere.

On Jan. 10, 2013, Sodi used the U.S. Postal Service to send mailers promoting the stock of Southern USA, Inc., a company with mining operations in Ashland, Ala., to addresses throughout the country. On March 1, 2013, after the price and volume of trading in SUSA stock had dramatically increased as a result of the promotion, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an order suspending trading in SUSA stock. SUSA subsequently laid off most of its workers and suspended its mining operations in Alabama.

If convicted of the charge of conspiracy, Sodi would face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

The FBI investigated the case, with assistance from the SEC, the Alabama Securities Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of New York, and the Eastern District of Virginia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Keim is prosecuting.

An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If you believe that you may have been a victim of the alleged crimes, please call 1-844-527-5299 or email USAEO.MCAP@usdoj.gov.   This website will be updated with further notices as required by law.

Updated April 8, 2020

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