UK Man Admits Role In Overseas Investment Scam
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
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BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that David Cole, 47, of England, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell T. Ippolito, Jr. and Paul E. Bonanno, who are handling the case, stated that the defendant participated in a “boiler room” scam that operated in Barcelona, Spain. Members of the conspiracy, working in the Spain boiler room, conned investors in the United Kingdom and Canada into buying nearly worthless shares of restricted stock at severely inflated prices by telling buyers that they were buying more valuable freely traded shares of stock.
Approximately 250 investors lost more than $2,900,000 to the defendant and a number of other conspirators. A portion of the criminal proceeds were funneled through a bank account in Western New York before being sent to numerous overseas accounts controlled by members of the conspiracy. Cole’s role in the conspiracy was convince individuals to invest in worthless stock by making false representations about the nature of the stock.
A total of 11 defendants involved in the boiler room scam have been convicted. Charges are pending against one other defendant. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The pleas are the result of an investigation on the part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Kevin Kelly, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Buffalo Office, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. before Judge Wolford.
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