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by Mike Caswell
George Georgiou, the former Toronto broker jailed on criminal fraud charges in the United States, has lost his bid for a new trial. In a decision handed down on March 18, 2011, Pennsylvania Judge Robert Kelly has found that medical problems with the prosecution's key witness, including cocaine addiction and bipolar disorder, did not affect the fairness of the trial. The jury would still have convicted Mr. Georgiou had it known about the problems, the judge found.
The witness, Kevin Waltzer, testified that he had helped Mr. Georgiou manipulate four pink sheets companies in a scheme that resulted in $57-million in investor losses. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He told the jury how he had received and executed precise buy and sell instructions from Mr. Georgiou on several occasions over a four-year span.
Mr. Waltzer provided the testimony during Mr. Georgiou's 13-day trial, which took place in February, 2010, at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia. Prosecutors successfully argued that Mr. Georgiou manipulated four stocks and caused the demise of a Bahamian brokerage, Caledonia Corporate Management Group. After the guilty verdict, the judge sentenced Mr. Georgiou to 25 years in jail and ordered him to pay $55.8-million in restitution.
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