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by Mike Caswell
Toronto's Andrew Hackett must remain in a U.S. federal prison while he appeals the four-year sentence he received for a pump-and-dump on the OTC Markets, an appeal court has ruled. He had asked that the court release him on bond while his appeal is under consideration. He said that his appeal had considerable merit and that he had been an exemplary prisoner.
The ruling comes as part of a case in which prosecutors cited Mr. Hackett and others for a scheme to boost a supposed social media listing though phone rooms and manipulative trades. The evidence at Mr. Hackett's trial included testimony of a boiler room operator as well as text messages in which he and others agreed on a target price for the stock. A California jury convicted him on Aug. 2, 2021, following a five-day trial, and the judge handed down the four-year jail term.
Mr. Hackett then appealed, seeking to overturn his conviction or cut down his jail term. Among other things, he contended that the four-year prison term he received was based on flawed figures. It stemmed in part from the loss inflicted on investors, which the government calculated to be $2.2-million. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Mr. Hackett said that the actual loss was much lower. He further complained that the trial judge disallowed text messages that were of some significance to his defence.
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