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Two men, including a former northern Minnesota council member, have pleaded guilty in connection to a “pump and dump” stock manipulation scheme.

Mark Allen Miller, 44, of Breezy Point, entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit security fraud in U.S. District Court Thursday. Christopher James Rajkaran, 36, of New York and Guyana, entered a guilty plea earlier this month.

Miller is a former member of the Breezy Point City Council. He resigned in June after he was charged for conspiracy to commit security fraud, securities fraud and wire fraud.

According to court documents, the men participated in a scheme to take control of dormant companies and manipulate their stocks to increase the prices. They would then sell the stocks to investors at a profit.

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The men would obtain the stock by seeking out companies with low over-the-counter prices, often less than a penny per share. They would take control of the companies by filing fake resignation letters and board resolutions purportedly from the management team, before appointing themselves as officers and directors.

They would then issue fraudulent press releases designed to increase the value of a company’s stock before selling it.

The third defendant, Saeid Jaberian, 59, of Hopkins, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud charges.

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