(STL.News) – An attorney was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for his role in an international securities fraud scheme that sought to generate $15 million in fraudulent proceeds.
Milan Patel, 50, a resident of Minnesota, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $50,000. In February 2019, Patel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud.
From 2013 to 2018, Patel and co-conspirators Morrie Tobin, Matthew Ledvina and Roger Knox conspired to disguise their ownership and control of various microcap securities, and to employ paid promotional campaigns and manipulative trading techniques to artificially inflate the price and trading volume of those stocks so that Tobin and others could secretly sell their shares at a substantial profit. Patel, together with Ledvina, helped Tobin create shell companies to disguise Tobin’s control of the shares, enabling Tobin to sell the shares to unsuspecting investors.
Tobin pleaded guilty in February 2019 and was sentenced yesterday to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 and forfeiture of $4 million. Ledvina was sentenced in June 2020 to 30 months of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $50,000. Knox previously pleaded guilty and is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 30, 2020.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement. The Boston regional office of the SEC provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen and James R. Drabick of Lelling’s Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.