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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 17, 2022

Five Defendants Indicted for Pump-and-Dump Stock Fraud Scheme

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Aaron P. Arnzen (619) 546-8384 and Andrew J. Galvin (619) 546-9721     

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 17, 2022

SAN DIEGO – Five men from California, Nevada and Florida are charged in an indictment unsealed today with conspiring to manipulate the market for the stock of a healthcare company whose products include COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

The defendants are accused of manipulating the market for the stock of Global WholeHealth Partners Corporation (Ticker: GWHP), which advertised itself as a company focused on healthcare-related development and products. The defendants include Brian Volmer of Carson City, Nevada; Joshua Yafa of Boca Raton, Florida, and his brother, Jamie Yafa of Kissimmee, Florida; Charles Strongo of San Clemente, California; and Carl Marciniak of Minden, Nevada. All were arrested or otherwise contacted by law enforcement today in their hometowns.

According to the indictment, the defendants’ crime involved efforts to run a pump-and-dump scheme in Global WholeHealth Partners’ stock. Their scheme included maintaining control over the company’s free-trading shares through secret nominee accounts; artificially inflating the stock’s price and trading volume by promoting the stock through high pressure call rooms and penny stock newsletters; engaging in manipulative stock trading; and selling the stock at inflated prices to unwitting investors.  The defendants collectively spoke on dozens of recorded calls about key aspects of their scheme.

“Pump and dump schemes deteriorate the integrity of the securities markets and destroy Main Street investors’ confidence in their ability to invest on a level playing field,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman.  “This case should serve as a reminder that individuals who manipulate the United States securities markets are being scrutinized by law enforcement and will be held accountable.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team, the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission for their excellent work on this case.

“These defendants engaged in a conspiracy to inflate stock prices through false and misleading information to enrich themselves and make a quick profit,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “The FBI is proud to work alongside our partners at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to preserve the integrity of the stock market and protect honest investors.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission has also taken civil action against several of the defendants in this case.

Case Number 21cr1310-WQH

DEFENDANTS                                                        

Brian Volmer                                                  Age: 58                                   Carson City, NV

Joshua Yafa                                                    Age: 47                                   Boca Raton, FL

Jamie Yafa                                                      Age: 43                                   Kissemmee, FL

Charles Strongo                                              Age: 58                                   San Clemente, CA

Carl Marciniak                                                Age: 57                                   Minden, NV

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Conspiracy – Title 18, U.S.C. § 371

Securities Fraud – Title 15, U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) and 78ff, and Title 17, C.F.R., § 240.10b-5

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $5 million fine

AGENCIES

Federal Bureau of Investigation

United States Securities and Exchange Commission

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty

Topic(s): 
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 
CAS22-0217-Volmer
Updated February 17, 2022