Southern District of Florida’s Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative Nets More Penny Stock Fraudsters
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 07, 2010|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that on December 6, 2010, Joshua Konigsberg, 49, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Louis Fischler, 52, of Delray Beach, FL were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the investing public by engaging in deceptive and manipulative trading practices in connection with four publicly traded companies. If convicted, Konigsberg and Fischler face up to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Today’s charges are part of the Southern District of Florida’s Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative. The Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative is a coordinated, multi-agency effort targeting criminals operating a broad grouping of stock and commodities frauds the Southern District of Florida.
The defendants in this case are charged with attempting to pay illegal inducement payments to investment professionals, including a stock broker and a pension fund, to induce the professionals to violate their fiduciary duties by misusing client accounts to buy worthless or overvalued shares of stock, and to manipulate the market for publicly traded securities.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “This case demonstrates the risks associated with thinly traded microcap companies. The defendants charged today abused their knowledge of the capital markets hoping to misappropriate money held in investment accounts to enrich themselves and their coconspirators.”
John V. Gilles, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Office, stated, “This case shows our commitment to the Securities Fraud Initiative announced yesterday. Investors lose millions of dollars each year due to these schemes that mislead investors and manipulate the prices of publicly traded securities. I reiterate no matter how elaborate or complex the scheme the perpetrators always get caught.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the cooperative efforts of the Miami Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Dwight O’Quinn.
An indictment is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.