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by Mike Caswell
Arizona prosecutors have suffered a setback in their effort to extradite Francisco Abellan, the man accused of running the massive Biozoom Inc. pump-and-dump. Mr. Abellan had been in custody in Spain, but he has since disappeared. A Spanish judge allowed him to go free as part of an appeal process, and prosecutors are no longer aware of his whereabouts.
Prosecutors are seeking to extradite Mr. Abellan and others, including former Vancouver securities lawyer Faiyaz Dean, for a scheme involving Biozoom that they claim generated $33-million in proceeds. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The government says that Mr. Abellan, a repeat offender, boosted the company to $4.50 with claims about a personal handheld health scanner. Of the proceeds, about half made it out of the United States before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an asset freeze.
While prosecutors filed an indictment against Mr. Abellan on April 23, 2019, he has never been in U.S. custody. Authorities arrested him in his native country, Spain, and the U.S. made an effort to have him extradited. As is customary with many securities fraudsters (and other types of defendants), Mr. Abellan fought his extradition, filing appeals as he sought to avoid landing in the hands of U.S. prosecutors. He ultimately lost that case after exhausting his appeals, and is subject to an extradition order.
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