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by Mike Caswell
Phillip Offill, a former Texas lawyer with many Canadian connections, has asked a Virginia judge to throw out criminal charges that he faces for a scheme to sell $1.3-million worth of improperly issued shares in a purported mining company. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He claims that the evidence prosecutors have presented so far falls far short of making a case against him. Among other things, the government has not established that he had anything to do with misleading news releases or a call centre that touted the company, he says.
The request from Mr. Offill comes as part of a case in which prosecutors in Virginia claim that he was behind the sale of shares in Mansfield-Martin Exploration Mining Inc., a mining listing on the OTC Markets. He had obtained the shares through forgery, deception and a fraudulent board resolution, the government said. The sales also came shortly after Mr. Offill had left prison for a prior scheme that involved two Ontario men. A judge has since ordered Mr. Offill to return to prison, where he awaits trial.
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