Friday, August 07, 2009
Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
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Jeremy Lushene, Communications & Webmaster
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Michael E. Stevenson, Director of Securities
PH (360) 902-8797 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Bellevue Woman Sentenced As Part Of "Pump And Dump" Scheme, Bilking More Than 3,000 Investors Of $2.4 Million
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Director Scott Jarvis is pleased to announce U.S. District Judge Richard Jones sentenced Beverlee Kamerling, 65, today to 90 months (7 1/2 years) in prison for her role in a “pump and dump” securities fraud scheme.
“The results in this case demonstrate our commitment to protecting Washington investors and ensuring that people guilty of defrauding consumers will be prosecuted,” Jarvis said.
As part of the scheme, the conspirators acquired publicly traded “shell” companies, hid their association with the companies, falsified and concealed material information on disclosure documents made available to the investing public, and sent out millions of promotional faxes to try to boost the stock price. The conspirators then sold stock through nominees at a profit and laundered their profits overseas. The companies named in the Indictment were all Washington corporations: America Asia Energy Corporation, Coattec Industries, Inc., Detex Security Systems, Inc, and Global Gaming Network, Inc.
More than 3,300 investors in Washington and other states lost more than $2.4 million as part of the scheme.
Ten defendants were convicted of various offenses as part of the scheme, including Kamerling’s son, Nicholas Alexander, 24, who resided in Bellevue and Florida. Alexander was earlier sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the scheme. Alexander served as an officer and director of all four public companies and admitted shredding documents in an effort to obstruct the investigation. Disbarred Bellevue lawyer Tolan Furusho, 39, was earlier sentenced to 13 months in prison for his role in the scheme, and for failing to file federal income tax returns. Five defendants were convicted of offenses ranging from perjury to obstruction of justice for their efforts to undermine the grand jury in Seattle that was investigating the scheme.
DFI Securities Division attorney Robert Kondrat was appointed as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and was one of the lead prosecutors on the case, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lord. DFI helped analyze dozens of bank and brokerage accounts, including offshore accounts in the Caribbean.
“I am proud DFI was able to assist the U.S. Attorney’s Office in bringing these individuals to justice,” added DFI Director of Securities Michael Stevenson. “Our agency works hard to ensure safe and sound investing for Washington residents.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and DFI.
Additional information about the other defendants convicted in the scheme may be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/waw/.
About DFI’s Division of Securities
www.dfi.wa.gov/sd ▪ 360.902.8760 ▪ 877.RINGDFI (746.4334)
The Division of Securities regulates securities investments, franchises, business opportunities, and off-exchange commodities sold in Washington and the firms and individuals that sell these products or provide investment advice. The Division handles complaints, conducts investigations, and takes appropriate enforcement actions to protect investors and combat fraud.
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department has won numerous awards for its financial literacy and outreach programs developed to protect consumers from financial fraud. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, the DFI’s Web site features consumer tips on a variety of financial fraud-related topics. DFI also hosts a financial education blog http://finlit.blogspot.com, a financial education Twitter page http://twitter.com/fined4all, a financial education YouTube page (where we've compiled a host of financial education videos from a variety of reliable resources) http://www.youtube.com/wadfi, a consumers Twitter page http://twitter.com/dficonsumers and a financial education calendar for Washington State http://dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/calendar.htm.