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New charges in 'Sopranos' star's ex-husband's $300 mln fraud case
November 4, 2015 / 6:54 PM / 2 years ago

New charges in 'Sopranos' star's ex-husband's $300 mln fraud case

Nov 4 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities on Wednesday announced a new indictment against the former husband of “The Sopranos” star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, and three additional arrests over allegations they ran a $300 million stock manipulation scheme.

Abraxas “A.J.” Discala, 44, the chief executive of OmniView Capital Advisors and former husband of Sigler, and six other defendants face charges of fraudulently inflating the prices of thinly-traded penny stocks, selling them to unsuspecting elderly people and other investors, and keeping the profits.

Sigler has not been charged or accused of wrongdoing. She played Tony Soprano’s daughter Meadow in “The Sopranos,” an HBO crime drama television series.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York have said the “pump-and-dump” scheme lasted from Oct. 2012 to July 2014 and involved trades in four publicly-traded companies.

Prosecutors said the defendants’ activities boosted the stocks’ market valuations to $300 million and caused investor losses of at least $50 million in a single stock, CodeSmart Holdings Inc.

Those arrested on Wednesday include Michael Morris, 63, of Merrick, New York, who was chief executive of New York-based Halcyon Cabot Partners Ltd; Darren Ofsink, 46, a lawyer from Merrick; and Darren Goodrich, 37, a broker from Manhattan Beach, California.

They join Discala and three others facing charges under an amended 11-count indictment, prosecutors said.

The case was made public in July 2014. Ten people have been charged overall, and three have pleaded guilty.

Charles Ross, a lawyer for Discala, had no immediate comment. It was not immediately clear whether the new defendants have hired lawyers.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a Wall Street regulator, on Oct. 7 said it expelled Halcyon and barred Morris from the securities industry for an alleged scheme to conceal fee kickbacks. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Grant McCool)

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