Authorities have busted a Broward County-based “boiler room” operation, most recently arresting three men this week who are accused of selling fake stocks. News reports estimate that the scheme collectively siphoned about $4 million from investors throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The men worked for an outfit known as FMN Enterprise, which allegedly employed 14 men who posed as telemarketers and sold stock from green-technology companies, promising investors healthy returns, authorities said.
Generally, in the context of investing, the term “boiler room operation” refers to the use of high pressure sales tactics to sell stocks to clients who are randomly called—most likely after being picked out of a phone directory. These operations are usually based on deception and coercion, and many of these salespeople and brokers are not even qualified to work in the securities industry.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the alleged fraud occurred from April through September 2009 and targeted about 130 investors who were sold unauthorized stock for Helix Wind Inc., a California-based seller of wind turbines, and Green LED Technology LLC, which sold LED lighting.
LED Technology is based in Dania Beach.
The three recent arrests charge the South Florida men with racketeering, grand theft, and SEC regulation violations as well as other fraud-related charges. These crimes carry stiff criminal penalties, including possible prison time.
White collar crimes include a broad range of offenses, usually involving crimes in the corporate environment or non-violent crimes committed by a business person or a person in a position like in this case, a stockbroker.
Even if you have discovered that you are under investigation for a Broward County white collar crime, the attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you navigate this confusing process and many times, even prevent the government from filing charges.
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