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SEC defendant McAlpine looks to avoid jail

2023-01-03 20:32 ET - Street Wire

Also Street Wire (U-ARGW) Argus Worldwide Inc
Also Street Wire (U-VRSYF) VMS Rehab Systems Inc

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by Mike Caswell

Andrew McAlpine, a former Toronto broker awaiting sentencing in California for his part in a $6.6-million pump-and-dump scheme, has asked that the judge spare him jail. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He says that his role in the fraud was minimal, coming only toward the end. He also asks that the judge consider his co-operation with prosecutors, which included turning over e-mails, text messages and other documents that implicated his associates.

The request from Mr. McAlpine, 59, comes as part of a case in which prosecutors claimed that he used offshore accounts to help manipulate a supposed cellphone developer called Argus Worldwide Inc. while he secretly dumped the stock for others. Spam e-mails predicted investors would see the company "soaring by over 200%," but the stock was quickly worthless. There was no trial for Mr. McAlpine, as he pleaded guilty.

Mr. McAlpine's sentencing request is contained in a memorandum filed on Dec. 30, 2022, in federal court in San Diego. As Mr. McAlpine explains, his part in the scheme was minimal. He says that the underlying conspiracy lasted for 4-1/2 years, but his participation lasted for less than a year. He claims that others ran the scheme, and says that his personal financial gain was small. (The exact figure seems to be in dispute, but Mr. McAlpine calculates his gain to be $27,000.)

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