Two Convicted for Participating in a $95 Million International Market Manipulation Scheme
BROOKLYN, NY—Late yesterday, defendants Gary Kershner, an Arizona business owner, and Songkram Roy Sahachaisere, a California stock promoter, were convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn on all counts for their role in a $95 million international market manipulation scheme. The jury’s verdict followed a five week trial before United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano. The defendants were convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of securities fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and two counts of making false statements to federal agents. Kershner and Sahachaisere are the eighth and ninth defendants convicted in this case.
The guilty verdicts were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).
“Through lies and deceit, the defendants took advantage of the investing public and sold them worthless stock of shell companies that were propped up by false press releases. We and our partners in law enforcement are committed to rooting out fraud in the financial markets,” stated United States Attorney Capers. Mr. Capers extended his appreciation to the FBI, which led the government’s investigation, and thanked the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, New York; Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Homeland Security, Buffalo; Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and law enforcement authorities in England, Thailand, and China for their assistance in this case.
The evidence at trial established that Kershner and Sahachaisere, together with others, engaged in an international “pump and dump” operation, fraudulently inflating the share price of worthless penny stocks, and then dumping billions of shares on unsuspecting victim investors across the globe. Kershner was responsible for drafting the false press releases and Sahachaisere was responsible for promoting the worthless companies based on the false press releases.
When sentenced by United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano, Kershner and Sahachaisere face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
This prosecution was the result of efforts by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, visit http://www.StopFraud.gov.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher A. Ott, Tyler Smith, and Mark Bini are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Hendry of the Office’s Civil Division, which is responsible for the forfeiture of assets.
- GARY KERSHNER
- Age: 75
- Tucson, Arizona
- SONGKRAM ROY SAHACHAISERE
- Age: 45
- Newport Beach, California
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 13-CR-452 (S-2) (ENV)