Three people, including two Minnesotans, have been accused of running an illegal "pump-and-dump" stock manipulation scheme.
The men — Mark Allen Miller, 43, of Breezy Point, Minnesota; Saeid Jaberian, 59, of Hopkins, Minnesota; and Christopher James Rajkaran, 35, of Queens, New York, and Guyana — "devised and carried out a scheme to surreptitiously hijack" and take over dormant companies, and then inflated the companies' stock to make money, the U.S. Attorney's Office of Minnesota alleges.
The U.S. Attorney's Office, citing court documents, said the three men acquired large amounts of stock in dormant public shell companies that were trading at often less than 1 cent per share and then would assume control over the shell companies by creating and filing fake resignation letters and board resolutions. They would issue fake press releases and filings to "pump up" the price of the companies' stock and then "dump" (sell) their stock at inflated prices.
Investigators believe the men made hundreds of thousands of dollars through this scheme, which ran from 2017-2019, CNBC reports.
A 15-count indictment charges the men with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud and wire fraud.
Rajkaran was arrested on June 18 in New York and has made his initial court appearance. Miller and Jaberian have not made their first court appearances as of Tuesday morning.