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28 July 2004 Read all today’s legal news, law firm announcement &…

28 July 2004 Read all today’s legal news, law firm announcement & legal research articles at LAWFUELMarcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael S. Clemens, Acting Special Agent in Charge, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Don Saxon, Commissioner, Office of Financial Regulation, State of Florida, announced today that on July 28, 2004, defendant, Richard Spinale, who was a registered securities broker at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“Merrill Lynch”) in Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with securities fraud in violation of Title 15, United States Code, Sections 78j(b) and 78ff(a), and Title17, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 240.10b-5.

United States District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan set Spinale’s sentencing hearing for October 8, 2004. Spinale faces a maximum statutory sentence of twenty (20) years’ imprisonment and a maximum statutory fine of $5,000,000.

The federal-state joint fraud investigation showed that Spinale fraudulently opened a securities brokerage account using the name of one of his Merrill Lynch clients. Using that fraudulently opened account, beginning in or around December 2001, and continuing until in or around September 2003, Spinale misappropriated approximately $900,000 from his Merrill Lynch clients for Spinale’s personal use and benefit. In addition, Spinale bought and sold securities with the clients’ funds, without authorization by or disclosure to his Merrill Lynch clients.

Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, and the Office of Financial Regulation, State of Florida. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard Hong.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.