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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has won a permanent ban against Ohio resident Michael Starkweather, who was the chief executive officer of cellphone developer Andiamo Corp. The government said that Mr. Starkweather received kickbacks through a Canadian account while an unidentified associate sold $1.04-million worth of shares. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Mr. Starkweather promoted cellphones that Andiamo was supposedly developing through a Toronto entity, but the phones did not exist, the SEC said.
Mr. Starkweather's ban is contained in an order that the SEC announced on Monday, March 1. The order permanently bars Mr. Starkweather from penny stocks and from serving as an officer or director of a public company. It also bars him from future violations. Mr. Starkweather did not contest the SEC's case, as he previously pleaded guilty to related criminal charges in New York and received three years of probation. (Prosecutors had sought an 18-month sentence, but Mr. Starkweather avoided jail after claiming that he thought Andiamo's phones were legitimate and saying that he had seen a prototype.)
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