- Two men, Mark Allen Miller and Christopher James Rajkaran, are set to plead guilty in a case where they have been accused of planning to hijack dormant shell companies and fraudulently pumping up their stock shares.
- A third defendant, Saeed Jaberian, is on track to stand trial in the case, which involves four penny-stock companies trading in the over-the-counter market.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission has separately sued Miller in connection with the alleged scam.
- Miller abandoned attempts to control another shell company, New World Gold, shortly after being indicted in Minnesota federal court and sued by the SEC.
Court records show that two of the three men criminally charged with hijacking dormant shell companies and fraudulently pumping their stock shares are now set to be convicted in the case, court records show. runs.
One of the defendants, Christopher James Rajkaran of Queens, New York and Guyana, on Monday moved a plea hearing in Minnesota federal court scheduled for October 7, records show.
A judge last week dismissed Rajan’s latest attempt to be released on bail from a Minnesota prison, saying he “puts a serious risk of non-appearance” in court. Rajkaran’s lawyer declined to comment on Tuesday.
The other defendant, Mark Allen Miller, who is free on a $25,000 unsecured personal identification bond, is scheduled to plead guilty on October 14 in the same court, according to changes to the petition filing last week.
Miller’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Miller, a general contractor living in Breezy Point, Minnesota and Rajkaran, previously pleaded not guilty to 15 counts of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and wire fraud.
His plea notice did not say for what offenses he would be guilty.
The third defendant in the case, Saeed Jaberian, is on track for now, to stand trial in the case.
Minnesota resident Jaberian, also known as Andre Jaberian, has also pleaded not guilty to the same charges as the other two men and is free on an unsecured $25,000 bond.
The trio were charged with a grand jury indictment in June of using fictitious resignation letters from others to seize control of four shell companies — Digitity, Encompas Holdings, Bell Buckle Holdings and Utilicraft Aerospace Industries — since 2017 was accused of doing. 2019
The indictment says that Miller and Jabarian, as well as an unidentified person related to Miller, actually became the nominal CEOs and presidents of the companies targeted.
The men are accused of using the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Edgar public filing system and fake press releases to inflate the share prices of companies claiming they had new business opportunities. The indictment states that the companies had virtually no significant operations or revenue.
A court filing said the men bought millions of shares of shares in companies, in many cases less than a penny per share, which were then sold in the over-the-counter market for profits of up to 900%.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota — who declined to comment Tuesday at a plea hearing scheduled for Miller and Rajkaran — previously said the three men made hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal profits.
Jabarian’s attorney said in a court filing in late August that “in a future trial, Jaberian’s defense will need to claim that Miller defrauded him” by inadvertently participating in a plan to hijack a defunct shell company. for taking.
In June, the SEC sued Miller separately in a civil caseHatt accused them of “a fraudulent scheme targeting at least seven dormant penny-stock companies … [companies] With the intention of making profits from ‘pump and dump’ of the stock.”
Those dormant companies allegedly targeted by Miller in the SEC complaint included the four identified in the criminal indictment, as well as strategic asset leases, counterfeit environmental concepts, and Bebida Drinks.
At the time he was indicted, Miller was involved in an attempt to gain control of a Florida penny-stock company, New World Gold Corp., which was cited as one of his alleged targets in a criminal case or civil case with the SEC. has not been nominated. filed.
Less than two weeks after CNBC reported his involvement with New World Gold, Miller voluntarily dropped a lawsuit filed in Florida as part of his effort.
The share price of New World Gold has risen from a high of $0.0275 per share on June 3 — two weeks before news of Miller’s criminal case broke — to $0.0012 per share as of Tuesday afternoon. Shares of NWGC were down more than 29% in trading as of late Tuesday, with more than 21 million shares changing hands.