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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has won a permanent ban for Annetta Budhu, a former broker from New York charged for the pump-and-dump of Arias Intel Corp. in 2017. Ms. Budhu arranged to tout the stock while a co-accused, Toronto's Andrew Hackett, had large blocks of shares poised to sell. The group was looking to boost the stock to $5, but they ran afoul of authorities after including an FBI informant in their scheme. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
The ban for Ms. Budhu is contained in a notice of settlement filed in federal court in San Diego on Thursday, Jan. 26. The notice includes a term permanently barring Ms. Budhu from penny stocks and an injunction barring future violations. She must also pay $5,794 in monetary penalties. The sanctions, which come as part of a negotiated settlement, still require approval from the judge.
The ban represents just part of Ms. Budhu's punishment for the scheme, as she was also a defendant in a related criminal case. She pleaded guilty to a charge of providing false information and received six months of house arrest, the cost of which she had to cover. The judge also ordered her to serve three years of supervised release, with the terms of that release including drug tests and DNA collection.
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