Stock hijacker Mark Miller pleads guilty in pump-and-dump scheme
On Monday, July 20, 2019, a pedestrian in a mask gazes at a phone while walking in front the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images| Bloomberg | Getty Images
Minnesota’s general contractor plead guilty on Thursday to the charges. scheme to hijack dormant shell companies and then pump-and-dump their stock shares on the over-the-counter market to unwitting investors.
Mark Miller was the second to confess to his part in this brazen fraud that ran from 2017-2019. The scam involved fraudulent takeovers by at least four public companies with no business operations and which had not made the required regulatory filings.
Christopher James Rajkaran was previously sentenced to one count of conspiracy for securities fraud in the U.S District Court in Minneapolis.
Miller pleaded guilty at that time to the same charges. He will be sentenced to the same 14 criminal charges as Rajkaran. This is pursuant to a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
Miller is released under bond. Rajkaran who lives in Queens (New York) is currently being held as a flight risk because of his connection to Guyana.
The third defendant, Saied Jaberian of Minnesota, has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Miller pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of $38,000 for ill-gotten gains.
According to federal sentencing guidelines, he should be sentenced to a term between 30 and 36 months in prison and a $10,000-$100k fine.
Miller’s punishment will however be determined by Judge David Doty at sentencing.
Miller provided brief responses to acknowledge his comprehension of the plea deal and gave details of his crimes as described by a prosecutor during his hearing.
Miller said to the prosecutor that he was guilty of the summary he had seen.
The three defendants were charged in June with a scheme to use resignation letters purporting to be from other people to seize control of four shell companies — Digitiliti Encompass Holdings Bell Buckle HoldingsPlease see the following: Utilicraft Aerospace Industries
Prosecutors claim that Miller and Jaberian along with an unidentified individual related to Miller were nominal presidents and CEOs of the companies targeted.
Miller admitted to using Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR public file system and bogus news releases to artificially inflate share prices by claiming business opportunities. However, the companies had neither significant revenues nor operations.
Miller and co-defendants purchased millions of stock shares from the companies. In many cases, Miller bought them for less than 1 cent per share. They then sold them off on the Over-the-Counter Market for many times the amount they had paid. The scheme netted the three defendants hundreds of thousands in profit, according to the prosecution.
Miller was arrested at the same time. was involved in an effort to seize control of a Florida penny-stock company New World Gold Corp.The victim isn’t named in the civil or criminal cases. against Miller filed by the SEC.
Miller, who was criminally accused this summer, resigned from his position on the Breezy Point City Council, Minn.