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by Mike Caswell
Canadian Morrie Tobin has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges in Boston stemming from a $3.6-million manipulation. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Prosecutors claim that he and another man boosted two OTC Markets listings with paid promotional campaigns while secretly selling hundreds of thousands of shares. They dumped the stock through multiple U.S. brokerages, evading reporting requirements.
Mr. Tobin's agreement to plead guilty is contained in a letter that prosecutors filed in federal court on Monday, Dec. 3. The charges to which he will plead guilty are one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He faces a maximum of 20 years in jail on the securities fraud charge.
The exact length of Mr. Tobin's term will depend on his guidelines calculation, a complex piece of arithmetic that the courts use to approximate an appropriate sentence. Whatever term the guidelines produce, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a term at the low end. In addition, Mr. Tobin must serve 36 months of supervised release. The judge is, of course, not bound by the plea agreement and can impose a jail term that he thinks is appropriate.
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