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VGTel fraudster Durante remains behind bars

2021-01-11 20:16 ET - Street Wire

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by Mike Caswell

Vancouver-linked fraudster Ed Durante, a repeat violator who has tried to leave jail more than once on COVID-19 grounds, has seen a New York judge reject his latest release request. Mr. Durante had asked the judge to allow him to live under home confinement, citing a COVID-19 outbreak at the Pennsylvania jail where he is housed. The judge, however, has sided with prosecutors, who argued that Mr. Durante would once again pose a serious risk to the public, with a previous 10-year sentence having done nothing to deter him.

The ruling comes with Mr. Durante, 68, serving an 18-year sentence for the $15.4-million manipulation of VGTel Inc., a supposed developer of electronic gambling devices. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Mr. Durante told investors, many of them seniors, that the stock could go to $50. With the help of others, he convinced investors to buy millions of dollars worth of ultimately worthless shares. Mr. Durante pleaded guilty to charges that included conspiracy, securities fraud and money laundering on Aug. 23, 2016.

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