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Former Stock Promoter Pleads Guilty To Bribery Scheme – US Attorney – LawFuel

LawFuel.com – Legal Newswire – PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for theSouthern District of New York, announced that former stockpromoter WILLIAM CURTIS pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federalcourt before United States District Judge SAMUEL CONTI toparticipating in a scheme to provide secret bribes to a stockbroker in order to induce the broker to purchase a stock onbehalf of his clients. According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan federalcourt, public court filings made by the United States Attorney’sOffice, and statements made during CURTIS’ guilty pleaproceeding:From July through September 2007, CURTIS agreed to paysecret, cash bribes to a confidential informant (“CI”) workingwith the FBI. The CI posed as a financial advisor who, inexchange for the bribes, would convince “investors” to purchasecommon stock of G&S Minerals, Inc. (“G&S”) that CURTIS and hisco-conspirators controlled. In conversations recorded by theFBI, CURTIS specifically agreed that the cash bribes would not bedisclosed to the CI’s “investors,” and that the amount of thebribe would be 30 percent of the purchase orders placed by theCI’s retail customers for G&S stock. In September 2007, afterpurporting to sell to retail customer clients a total of over$63,000 worth of shares of G&S common stock that CURTIS hadprovided, the FBI received from CURTIS two cash kickbackstotaling approximately $19,000, which represented approximately30 percent of the value of the G&S stock purchased by the CI fromCURTIS. CURTIS, 50, a resident of Naperville, Illinois, pleadedguilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to commitsecurities fraud and commercial bribery, and one count ofsecurities fraud. The charges carry a maximum combined penaltyof 25 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000,000. CURTISis scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge

LORETTA A. PRESKA on January 5, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.The charges against CURTIS are the result of awide-ranging Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) undercoverinvestigation of related stockbroker bribery schemes involvingUnited States-, Canada-, and Costa Rico-based stock promoters andstockholders. Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the FBI, theVancouver Integrated Market Enforcement Team of the RoyalCanadian Mounted Police, the Vancouver Police Department, theCriminal Prosecution Assistance Group of Financial IndustryRegulatory Authority, and the United States Securities andExchange Commission for their assistance in this investigation.This case is being prosecuted by the Office’sSecurities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant UnitedStates Attorneys JULIAN J. MOORE, JOHN J. O’DONNELL, ALEXWILLSCHER, and LISA BARONI, are in charge of the prosecution.09-325 ###

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