10:50:48 EDT Mon 22 Oct 2018
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SEC defendant Cervino hopes to avoid prison

2018-01-12 10:42 ET - Street Wire

Also Street Wire (U-VGTL) VGTel Inc

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by Mike Caswell

Christopher Cervino, one of those charged alongside Vancouver-linked fraudster Ed Durante for a pink sheets manipulation, has asked the judge for a sentence that includes no prison time. He says that he was a minor player in a $15-million fraud and had no intention of stealing investor money. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He also points out that he has suffered the loss of his career and will have to go through life with a criminal conviction.

The grovelling from Mr. Cervino comes about eight months after a New York jury convicted him for his part in the manipulation of a pink sheets company called VGTel Inc. He carried out matched trades as the stock went to a $1.90 high in 2013. (It was last at 0.03 cent.) Meanwhile Mr. Durante, who was using an alias to cover up his criminal past, told investors the stock could go to $50 and touted unrealistic deals.

(Mr. Durante's criminal past stemmed from a prior fraud that traces to Vancouver, that of Wamex Holdings Inc. In that scheme, Mr. Durante boosted the stock to $19.50 from $1.375 through massive promotional campaigns and heavy trading through offshore entities. Former Vancouver brokerage Union Securities Ltd. figured into the scheme, with its White Rock branch handling some of Mr. Durante's orders. Mr. Durante served 10 years in jail on the Wamex charges.)

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