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by Mike Caswell
A New York judge has imposed a two-year sentence on Christopher Castaldo, a stock tout who was part of the Forcefield Energy Inc. manipulation. The judge has also ordered Mr. Castaldo to pay $1.8-million in restitution and has imposed three years of probation with terms that bar him from the brokerage industry. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Mr. Castaldo must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Jan. 12, 2018.
The sentence comes as part of a case in which prosecutors claimed that Mr. Castaldo, 46, helped the Canadian architect of the Forcefield fraud, Richard St. Julien. According to the government, Mr. St. Julien masterminded a manipulation that boosted Forcefield to a $7.54 high. Most investors suffered catastrophic losses after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission halted Forcefield on April 21, 2015, citing a possible manipulation in progress. Mr. Castaldo's role in the manipulation included accepting undisclosed cash and share payments to tout the stock to customers of a newsletter that he ran, the Wall Street Buy Sell Hold. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud on March 10, 2017.
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