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by Mike Caswell
Richard Brown, a New York broker charged as part of the $131-million Forcefield Energy Inc. manipulation run by Canadian Richard St. Julien, has avoided jail. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The government claimed that Mr. Brown placed 25 clients into Forcefield in 2014 and 2015, buying $1.73-million worth of stock. In return, he received undisclosed payments of at least $30,000 in cash and was owed another $55,000, the government said.
Mr. Brown, 41, received his sentence in a video appearance on Tuesday, Jan. 12, before New York Judge Brian Cogan. The judge ordered Mr. Brown to serve three years of probation and to pay $1.73-million in restitution. Mr. Brown previously admitted to his part in the scheme, pleading guilty to a charge of securities fraud.
The sentence comes as part of a case in which prosecutors accused Mr. St. Julien of defrauding investors in Forcefield, a onetime Nasdaq listing. According to the government, Mr. St. Julien paid secret kickbacks to brokers and others he had hired to pitch the stock. Most investors suffered catastrophic losses after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission halted Forcefield on April 21, 2015, citing a possible manipulation in progress. The stock, which had a $7.54 high, became nearly worthless (and was last at 0.01 cent).
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