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by Mike Caswell
Vancouver-linked securities violator Jonathan Curshen, 47, has received 20 years in jail for the pump-and-dump of CO2 Tech Ltd. The sentence, handed down on Friday, May 11, by Miami Judge Richard Goldberg, comes four months after a jury convicted Mr. Curshen for the scheme. In addition to the jail time, the judge has ordered Mr. Curshen to forfeit $7.3-million and to serve three years of probation. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
The sentence is a setback for Mr. Curshen, who had asked the judge to consider that he did not have a substantial role in trading that was crucial to the scheme, and that his co-conspirators were in line for lesser terms. He said that it would be unreasonable for him to receive a lengthy sentence while others who did most of the trading served shorter sentences.
Prosecutors, however, contended that Mr. Curshen was a central figure in the CO2 Tech manipulation. They said that he controlled a maze of brokerage and bank accounts through his Costa Rican company, Red Sea Management Ltd., and that he was able to use those accounts to manipulate stocks without detection. (One of the bank accounts he used was at the HSBC branch in Vancouver. Prosecutors claimed that Red Sea funnelled tens of millions of dollars through the account, much of which represented the proceeds of pump-and-dumps.) While the case revolved around the CO2 Tech manipulation, prosecutors said that Mr. Curshen had roles in other manipulations. The government had sought 21 to 27 years in jail.
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