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SEC defendant McAlpine set to avoid jail

2023-01-24 20:37 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, is poised to avoid jail entirely. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Federal prosecutors have requested a sentence that only includes home confinement. They cite Mr. McAlpine's co-operation with authorities, which included information on offshore accounts and which led to others pleading guilty.

The request comes as part of a case in which prosecutors claimed that Mr. McAlpine, 59, helped 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. The scheme was run in part through a website called Stockpalooza.com.

There was no trial for Mr. McAlpine, as he pleaded guilty, leaving his sentence as the only matter to determine. To that end, prosecutors filed a memorandum on Monday, Jan. 23, in which they asked that the judge sentence Mr. McAlpine to six months of home confinement. They describe his part in the fraud as minimal, with the memorandum attributing just $169,569 in losses from the $6.6-million scheme to Mr. McAlpine.

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