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SEC defendant Hackett looks to re-open case

2024-04-17 20:25 ET - Street Wire

Also Street Wire (U-ASNT) Arias Intel Corp

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by Mike Caswell

Andrew Hackett, a Toronto man jailed in the United States for a pump-and-dump on the OTC Markets, says there is new evidence that could clear his name. He claims that there are links between his case and a man called Alexander Smirnov, an FBI informant who was recently charged for making false statements. Mr. Hackett has asked that a judge partly re-open his case to "pursue such fact discovery that is highly relevant" to his defence.

The request from Mr. Hackett comes over two years after a California jury convicted him on charges stemming from a scheme to boost Arias Intel Corp., a supposed social media listing. The government claimed that he manipulated the stock through a boiler room and a website called TheMoneyStreet. The evidence against Mr. Hackett included testimony of the boiler room operator as well as text messages in which he and others agreed on a target price for the stock.

In the time since Mr. Hackett's conviction, federal prosecutors in California have filed charges against Mr. Smirnov, who was what the FBI calls a "confidential human source," or informant. Prior to his arrest, Mr. Smirnov was known as a businessman with ties to Israel, Ukraine, Austria and the Czech Republic. He had been assisting the FBI with multiple criminal investigations, spanning a period of time from October, 2010, to September, 2023.

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