Stock Promoter Indicted for Conspiring to Commit Securities Fraud
BOSTON—A Colorado stock promoter was charged today in U.S. District Court in Boston with conspiring to commit securities fraud by promoting shares of a company and then secretly selling them, without disclosing that he and his co-conspirators controlled almost all of the available shares.
Scott F. Gelbard, 39, a former resident of Lone Tree, Colo., who has since moved to Canada’s Pacific Northwest, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud.
According to the indictment, Gelbard and his business partners owned and operated Regency Group, LLC, a stock-promotion company in Colorado. Gelbard allegedly hired a disbarred attorney to set up brokerage accounts in the name of phony Panamanian entities that the former attorney controlled so that Gelbard and his partners could secretly accumulate, and then sell, stock in companies that they were promoting. One of those companies was Greenchek Technology, Inc., a firm that purportedly made gasoline-emission-reduction products. Beginning in 2008, Gelbard and his partners allegedly began transferring Greenchek shares they had acquired to the entities controlled by the former attorney. They then intentionally failed to file required disclosures that they had accumulated over 85% of Greenchek’s available shares, despite U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requirements that such disclosures be made when ownership of a company’s stock exceeds five percent.
As alleged in the indictment, Gelbard then hired a company to distribute certain promotional materials concerning Greenchek, including a series of press releases issued between February and June 2009. Beginning in February 2009, Gelbard and his partners began selling the stock held in the names of the phony Panamanian entities, generating more than $4 million in proceeds by June 2009. At Gelbard’s direction, the former attorney then laundered the proceeds through accounts in Panama and transmitted the money to accounts that Gelbard and his partners controlled or to pay debts that they owed. A federal grand jury in Massachusetts returned the indictment here because a number of victims lived in the Commonwealth.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Steven Osborne, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, Denver Field Office; and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric P. Christofferson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.