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by Mike Caswell
Donald Danks and Robert Lazerus, two California men facing criminal fraud charges in San Diego for the pump-and-dump of Quebec's Loop Industries Inc., have asked a judge to throw the case out. They say that prosecutors have failed to set out exactly what they did to mislead investors. The indictment charging the men fails to identify any false news releases or anything else they disseminated that would have artificially inflated the stock, they say.
The statements from the men come in response to a case filed against them and a Vancouver man, David Stephens, for a scheme to boost Loop in 2017. The government claims that the stock hit an $18 high as Mr. Stephens and the others were unloading shares through offshore nominees. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The men boosted the stock in part through buying by an elderly, vulnerable investor, prosecutors say.
For their part, Mr. Danks and Mr. Lazerus deny that they did anything wrong, or at least that prosecutors have properly accused them of doing anything wrong. In motions filed on July 17 and July 18, 2023, they say that the indictment is so lacking in detail that most of the charges against them should be dismissed. They say that prosecutors have accused them of carrying out a pump-and-dump, but have said nothing about what they did to mislead the market.
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