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by Mike Caswell
California resident Joseph Padilla has pleaded guilty to criminal charges he faces in Boston for a scheme to manipulate Oncology Pharma Inc., an OTC Markets company that claimed to be developing cancer treatments. The government said that Mr. Padilla ran the scheme in part through a Canadian brokerage, depositing and selling millions of shares there. In all, the scheme generated at least $100-million in gains, the government claimed. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
Mr. Padilla, 54, entered the guilty plea in an appearance on Thursday, Aug. 17, before a federal judge in Boston. The charges to which he pleaded guilty are securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, along with a count related to an improper identification document. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of 5-1/2 years.
The guilty plea comes with Mr. Padilla already in jail, the judge having previously ordered him detained. According to prosecutors, he attempted to acquire a fraudulent passport in August, 2022, after his arrest. At the time, he was free on a $1-million bond and awaiting trial. Prosecutors said that he paid $15,000 in cryptocurrency and sent passport pictures of himself. He also sent a fake name and false age.
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