A federal indictment against a Putnam Valley man accused in a multi-million-dollar stock scheme has been thrown out, according to multiple media outlets.
Guy Gentile, a broker-dealer, was successful in getting a federal judge in New Jersey to grant his motion to dismiss his 2016 indictment on securities fraud charges in the $17 million case after his legal team argued that it had been filed too late, according to lohud.com.
U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares ruled in his favor, saying that alleged behavior happened in 2008 and that the five-year statute of limitations had expired, the lohud.com story said.
Prosecutors had bought up the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that increased the statute, in securities cases, to six years, media reports said. But the judge ruled that the new statute was not retroactive.
In announcing the indictment last March, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey, said the Department of Justice had accused Gentile and two Canadian stock promoters of orchestrating a pump-and-dump scam that artificially inflated the stock price of two publicly traded companies – Raven Gold Corporation (RVNG) and Kentucky USA Energy Inc. (KYUS).
Officially, Fishman said, Gentile was charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of securities fraud.
Had he eventually been found guilty, Gentile could have faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine (or twice the gain or loss from the offense) on the conspiracy count, and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine on the securities fraud count, Fishman said.
According to lohud.com, Gentile’s cooperation with the SEC and the U.S. Justice Department during the investigation netted many other arrests and indictments and a few guilty pleas.
According to the website cooperatingwitness.com, Gentile, a licensed broker for nearly 20 years, had never before had any disciplinary actions, or customer complaints, brought against him.
Gentile, the cooperatingwitness.com report added, is the founders of Swiss America Securities Ltd., a company that is licensed and regulated by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas.
Cooperatingwitness.com printed verbatim a statement by Gentile in which he thanked family, friends, colleagues and others for their love and support. He also acknowledged the hard work and skills of his legal team and especially thanked his personal attorney, Carla Marin, who, he said, gave him the strength to stand up against the “mighty" U.S. government.
Lohud.com reported that Gentile’s lawyers said their client was relieved that his legal battle was over and that he was looking forward to restoring his good name.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of New Jersey has declined to comment on the ruling, according to lohud.com.