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by Mike Caswell
New York stock broker Gregg Berger, 47, has pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges for his role in a $30-million spamming operation that promoted thinly traded OTC Bulletin Board companies. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He entered the plea in an appearance before Detroit Judge Marianne O. Battani on Thursday, April 21. With the plea, he acknowledged that he helped dump millions of shares in spam-promoted stocks on the investing public.
Prosecutors claimed that Mr. Berger and others, including "spam king" Alan Ralsky, pumped and dumped several companies between 2005 and 2007. The stocks, which were mostly OTC-BB listings with purported projects in China, included Vancouver-based China Mobility Solutions Inc. The government indicted Mr. Ralsky, Vancouver resident How Wai John Hui and nine others for the scheme in 2008, on charges of wire fraud and mail fraud.
Mr. Berger, who served as a broker for the others, was a late addition to the case, with prosecutors adding his name to the indictment on Feb. 1, 2011. Many of his co-defendants, including Mr. Hui, are already serving jail terms. Mr. Berger faces up to four years in jail, a $75,000 fine and an unspecified amount of restitution. He is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 23, 2011.
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Mr. Neil who entered a "pretrial diversion agreement" and avoided jail time.