A former stockbroker has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a Long Island-based $147 million pump-and-dump scheme that manipulated the price of shares in publicly traded companies, prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert also ordered Jeffrey Chartier, 59, of Sunny Isles, Florida, to pay $1,022,398.89 in forfeiture and $6,083,603.45 in restitution.
Chartier was convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering following a six-week jury trial in March 2020. Chartier was also convicted of attempted obstruction of an official proceeding for lying to FBI agents.
“Jeffrey Chartier and his confederates lined their pockets with the lifetime savings of hard-working citizens they victimized all around the country,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement Thursday. “Today’s sentences should serve as a reminder to so-called white-collar criminals that this office will hold them accountable for their selfish actions and the devastation they inflict upon the lives and families of others.”
Chartier’s attorney, Robert LaRusso, said by phone Friday: "My client maintains his innocence and is appealing both the conviction and the sentence that was imposed."
Chartier’s co-defendant, Lawrence Isen, 69, of San Diego, was also convicted on fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges at trail. Isen is awaiting sentencing.
The men were the last of 16 defendants convicted in the scheme, which from 2014 to 2016 saw Chartier, Isen and others working with a Melville-based boiler room to artificially inflate the price and trading volume of stock in struggling companies, according to prosecutors. The defendants then sold the stock to unsuspecting victims, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, prosecutors said.
It was a classic pump-and-dump scheme, according to prosecutors, in which the fraudsters “pump” the value of a stock and then, using high pressure tactics, operate from so-called boiler rooms and “dump” the stock to victims, pocketing the profits.
Trial testimony showed that Chartier convinced the companies of National Waste Management Holdings Inc. and CES Synergies Inc. to pay him in stock for the service of making the companies public in order to sustain their future, according to prosecutors. Chartier paid the boiler room to illegally prop up the stock price and then dump his shares, prosecutors said.
A co-conspirator testified at trial that Chartier used part of his earnings in the scheme to buy an RV, valued at $350,00, that included a fireplace.