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by Mike Caswell
A judge in Virginia has sent former Texas lawyer Phillip Offill back to jail while he awaits trial for a scheme to sell $1.3-million worth of improperly issued shares in a purported Arizona mining company. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Prosecutors said that Mr. Offill, whose Canadian connections are many, was a flight risk and a danger to the community. He committed his present crime while banned, disbarred and under the court's supervision for prior violations, they claim.
The judge ordered Mr. Offill to jail after an arraignment hearing held on Thursday, Oct. 13, in federal court in Virginia. Mr. Offill, 63, had been free on bond since his arrest, but prosecutors asked the judge to revoke that bond and send Mr. Offill to jail. They pointed out that he has a history of violations, and said that he represents a danger to the public. Unfortunately for Mr. Offill, the judge sided with prosecutors and ordered him to jail.
The judge did not release any reasons for his decision, but prosecutors had plenty to say ahead of the hearing. In a motion filed on Sept. 6, 2022, they pointed to Mr. Offill's history in the markets. The worst of his transgressions, as set out by prosecutors, resulted in a criminal conviction. On Jan. 28, 2010, a jury in Virginia convicted him on 10 counts of fraud over a scheme in which he helped insiders of nine companies obtain illegally issued stock, with that stock then used in pump-and-dumps. Mr. Offill received eight years in prison. He was also banned by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a parallel civil proceeding, and later disbarred.
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