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by Mike Caswell
Chris Messalas, charged for organizing the manipulation of Biocube Inc., has pleaded not guilty. He entered the plea in an appearance on Monday, July 10, before Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon in New York. Mr. Messalas, 55, remains free on a $1-million bond. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
Prosecutors claim that Mr. Messalas was part of a scheme to boost Biocube with the help of an unidentified group of Canadian promoters. The men allegedly planned to manipulate the stock as high as $1 and sell shares through offshore accounts. The Canadian group would have received 30 per cent of the profits, the government says.
The FBI arrested Mr. Messalas on the charges on April 10, 2017. He is among five people charged in the scheme. Also pleading not guilty on Monday was one of his co-defendants, a New Jersey resident named Dimitrios Argyros. Prosecutors say that Mr. Argyros (who is Mr. Messalas's cousin) was to help set up bank and brokerage accounts in Cyprus.
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