A Boca Raton man conspired to artificially inflate the price of securities at more than half a dozen companies, costing investors at least $3.5 million when they crashed, federal officials said — but not before he cashed out for about $1.2 million.
The investigation is described as “ongoing” and citizens with information that may be helpful, or who believe they may have been victimized, are being encouraged to contact the FBI at (203) 777-6311.
William Lieberman, 41, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in Connecticut to conspiracy and tax offenses, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
It’s sometimes called “pump and dump.” In the bargain, Lieberman evaded $436,000 in federal taxes on his earnings, officials said.
The companies involved included Terra Energy Resources Ltd., Mammoth Energy Group Inc., Strategic Asset Leasing Inc., Trilliant Exploration Corp., Hermes Jets Inc., Continental Beverage Brands Corp., Dolat Ventures Inc. and Fox Petroleum Inc., officials said.
The means of inflating prices between 2010 and 2016 included false and misleading calls, emails and press releases about the financial health of companies, to make investors think they were on to a hot deal, prosecutors said. Working with co-conspirators, Lieberman arranged for what looked like attorneys’ statements to provide assurances about the companies, federal officials said.
A sentencing date has not yet been set, but Lieberman will be ordered to pay restitution to investors, back taxes and interest, according to prosecutors. The counts against him carry maximum terms of 20 and five years.