A Roslyn man was indicted for his alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar stock defraud scheme at First Choice Healthcare Solutions, Inc., a company where he is an associate, according to the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York.
Mark Burnett, 59, of Roslyn was indicted along with the company’s CEO and two other associates.
The alleged scheme occurred between May 2013 and June 2016 and intended to defraud investors in Plainview, according to U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.
The schemers gained $3.3 million by deceiving more than 100 people, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“As alleged, the defendants conducted a classic pump and dump scheme designed to defraud the investing public, many of whom were senior citizens, by pressuring them to purchase shares of the manipulated stock,” Donoghue said.
The defendants manipulated the prices and quantity of their company’s shares and promoted them over the phone and through a newsletter, according to the attorney.
They hid the shares in brokerage accounts under different names, he said.
The stock shares they inflated were worth less than $1, which they increased to $3.40, according to the SEC.
The scheme was in coordination with Elite Stock Research, a boiler room based on Long Island that was charged in a related action last year for “bilking victims out of more than $10 million through high-pressure sales tactics and lies about penny stocks,” according to the SEC.
First Choice Healthcare Solutions, Inc. is based in Melbourne, Florida.
Charges against the defendants include conspiracies to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering and substantive securities fraud, according to the U.S. attorney.
Efforts to reach Burnett’s attorney, William Wexler, were unavailing.