Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that VLADIMIR ZISKIND was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 28 months in prison for participating in a scheme to use false statements to promote and sell worthless stock in various companies. ZISKIND pled guilty on October 9, 2019, to one count of securities fraud and one count of securities fraud conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick, who also imposed today’s sentence.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Vladimir Ziskind heartlessly preyed on innocent investors – many of them elderly – who believed they were investing in a promising IPO or other time-sensitive lucrative investment, when in fact they were being fleeced by Ziskind and his co-conspirators. As this prosecution and today’s sentence reflect, this kind of predatory fraud will not be tolerated.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, the Indictment, and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:
For several years, ZISKIND and his co-defendants operated a fraudulent scheme in which a salesman named “Mike Palmer” would call elderly persons on the phone and offer them what he claimed was a time-sensitive opportunity to buy stock in certain companies. In fact, there was no “Mike Palmer,” and the salesman was actually ZISKIND or co-defendant Kevin Weinzoff, who were taking turns using the fake alias. The purported time-sensitive investment opportunity was also fabricated by the defendants, as the companies in which they solicited investments were actually companies under their control. In one intercepted phone call conversation, ZISKIND described to co-defendant Keith Orlean, the chief executive officer of the company, his strategy for a successful investor sales pitch as: “You ram it down their fucking throat.” In another intercepted call between ZISKIND and Orlean, upon learning that a particular victim investor died, ZISKIND remarked: “I knew I should have pulled the last $10,000 out of him.”
The most recent version of the defendants’ phony sales pitch included false representations about an impending initial public offering, or “IPO,” for their company, Digital Donations Technologies, Inc. For example, in April 2018, ZISKIND assured a victim investor that “our company is doing great,” that the company had an offer for an IPO valued at approximately $300 million, and that Orlean was considering a private sale of the company for more than $1.5 billion. In truth, however, the defendants knew that the company had little or no actual commercial value and that no such IPO or sale was taking place.
The FBI estimates that since April 2014, the defendants have convinced more than approximately 50 elderly persons to purchase stock in companies controlled by one or more of the defendants based on false representations. During the scheme, the defendants solicited more than $2 million in stock purchases from victims.
In addition to a prison term, ZISKIND, 52, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $732, 018.
Keith Orlean was previously sentenced to a prison term of 32 months. Kevin Weinzoff, who previously pled guilty, awaits sentencing.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding work of the FBI.
The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert L. Boone and Andrew Thomas are in charge of the case.
- Linklaters announces Aedamar Comiskey elected as Senior PartnerPowered by LawFuel – Global law firm Linklaters LLP has elected Aedamar Comiskey as its new Senior Partner. […] More
- Law Firm Serves Claim Against Bitcoin Developers to Recover £4 Billion Worth of BitcoinClaim has significant implications for other users and the way Bitcoin operates London 12 May 2021: Litigation law […] More
- Dechert – European Commission Proposes Regulation on Artificial IntelligenceThis OnPoint summarizes key provisions of the European Commission’s Proposed Regulation on Artificial Intelligence and offers some practical takeaways and strategic […] More
- Vice Chairs of Foley & Lardner IP Law GroupCourtenay Brinckerhoff is a partner and intellectual property lawyer in the Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on assisting […] More
- Baker + McKenzie Dismayed At Horror of Racial AttacksAll of us at Baker McKenzie have watched with dismay and horror as racially motivated attacks of physical […] More
- Bell Gully Former Chair In IFLR1000 Women Leaders 2021Bell Gully corporate partner and former chair Anna Buchly has been included in IFLR1000’s Women Leaders 2021, an elite cohort of […] More
- The London Law Gold Rush Sees Lateral Hires For Up To $7 MillionThe London offices of large US law firms are snapping senior legal talent – but they’re sometimes missing […] More