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by Mike Caswell
James Panther Jr., one of those charged in Arizona for the $34-million Biozoom Inc. pump-and-dump, has pleaded guilty. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) In entering the plea, he has spelled out how he and others, including Vancouver lawyer Faiyaz Dean, were part of a 2013 scheme in which offshore sellers dumped Biozoom during a $4-million paid promotion that sent the stock to $4. Mr. Panther's role included making arrangements to take the company public.
The guilty plea, entered before a federal judge on March 30, comes as part of the three-year-old Biozoom prosecution. The government claimed that a group of men, led by a Spanish citizen named Francisco Abellan Villena, arranged a scheme to boost Biozoom as a developer of a supposed portable skin scanning device. The company claimed that the device would one day be able to test for cholesterol and blood sugar, among other things. The scheme allegedly generated $34-million before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a halt on June 25, 2013.
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