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by Mike Caswell
Erik Matz, one of those charged in New York for a $147-million manipulation scheme that involved cold-calling seniors, has pleaded guilty. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He entered the plea in an appearance on Wednesday, April 11, before Judge Joanna Seybert. The judge allowed him to remain free on a $1-million bond until sentencing.
Prosecutors claim that Mr. Matz, 44, and others were behind a scheme to boost a handful of stocks, including a now-defunct Canadian Securities Exchange listing called Intelligent Content Enterprises Inc. The group called seniors and others, pushing them to buy millions of shares. Mr. Matz's part in the scheme involved running a boiler room under the name Power Traders Press.com Inc. The operation employed high-pressure tactics that included threatening potential investors and flooding them with calls.
The guilty plea from Mr. Matz is the first in the case. It is significant because the government identified him as the person who ran one of the two boiler rooms in the scheme. His plea agreement is not public, but such agreements usually require a defendant to co-operate with prosecutors, to the point of testifying against others if necessary.
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