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by Mike Caswell
Dimitrios Argyros, one of those charged for planning the $2-million pump-and-dump of a purported marijuana breathalyzer company, has pleaded guilty. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Mr. Argyros entered the plea before New York judge Roslynn Masukopf on Wednesday, Nov. 8. He remains free on a $750,000 appearance bond.
Prosecutors claim that Mr. Argyros was part of a scheme to boost Biocube Inc., an OTC Markets listing, with the help of a group of as-yet-unidentified Canadians. The men planned to manipulate the stock as high as $1 and sell shares through offshore accounts, according to the government. The Canadian group would have received 30 per cent of the profits. Mr. Argyros, who was also known as "Jimmy," was to set up bank and brokerage accounts in Cyprus as part of the scheme.
The terms of Mr. Argyros's guilty plea have not been released. He is, however, the only defendant to plead guilty in the case (at least so far), which means that he may have had information to offer prosecutors about his co-defendants or others. Those co-defendants include his cousin, Chris Messalas, who the government accuses of masterminding the pump-and-dump. Mr. Messalas previously pleaded not guilty and is free on a $1-million appearance bond. (Family gatherings are undoubtedly more than a little awkward, as the terms of release for both men bar them from associating with their co-defendants.)
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