World Awaits Bankman-Fried Sentence, Drug Stock Pump-And-Dump, Penny Stock Fraud: Financial Crimes Weekly

Zinger Key Points
  • Bankman-Fried to be sentenced next week: lawyers submit pleas to trial judge.
  • SEC lands civil judgment in fraudulent sales of shares in cancer drug company.

“Thousands of ordinary people lost their savings,” said prosecutors in the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried this week, urging the judge to enact the harshest possible punishment when the disgraced founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX is sentenced next week.

Bankman-Fried was convicted in November on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of FTX. Ahead of sentencing on March 28, Judge Lewis Kaplan has received presentencing memorandums from both sides.

Prosecutors, seeking $11 billion in compensation and up to 50 years of imprisonment, say Bankman-Fried, “driven by greed and hubris” repeatedly gambled other people’s money and that his education and privileged upbringing equipped him with the knowledge to know that he was acting illegally.

The defense lawyers maintain that FTX investors will eventually recover their money and have requested leniency from Kaplan, suggesting a sentence of between five and six years.

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Drug Stock Pump-And-Dumper Fined $7.2 Million

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which civilly charged Kevin Dills and two entities he controlled with operating a fraudulent share scheme, obtained a final judgment in the case this week.

According to the SEC complaint, Dills allegedly paid Joseph Padilla to arrange sales of Oncology Pharma ONPH stock, a company secretly controlled by Dills.

The shares were sold through two other entities controlled by Dills, Bright Star International and Life Sciences Journeys, the SEC said.

The shares were being promoted while Dills allegedly used his controlling influence over Oncology Pharma, to have the company publish press releases to make its stock more appealing to investors.

The complaint alleged that Dills, by dividing his Oncology Pharma ownership between two front companies, transferring shares to Padilla, and then sharing in the proceeds of Padilla's illegal sales, purposely flouted the registration requirements of federal securities law.

Dills consented to a final judgment that permanently bars him from dealing in penny stocks. The judgment ordered Dills to pay disgorgement of ill-gotten gains of $6.2 million, and fees amounting to $1 million.

Scam Forex Trader Fined $3.4 Million

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission this week entered a consent order imposing a permanent injunction and civil and restitution penalties on Joseph Carvajales worth a total $3.4 million.

Carvajales, who worked for The W Group is alleged to have made false statements to customers in connection with foreign exchange futures and options.

It’s further alleged that he misled customers into thinking he had opened individual trading accounts where customers’ funds would be deposited. But in reality, accounts were never opened and customers’ funds were misappropriated.

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Image created using artificial intelligence with Midjourney.

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