By Meymo Lyons
A former enforcement attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission will spend the next eight years in prison for his role in a 'pump-and-dump' stock fraud scheme.
Prosecutors at U.S. District Court in Alexandria allege that Dallas-based attorney Phillip Offill Jr. aided schemes that by conservative estimates cheated more than 1,500 investors out of at least $2.4 million. The fraudsters would pump up the value of dubious penny stocks and then sell the shares at inflated prices to unwitting buyers.
A jury convicted Offill earlier this year. Eight other co-conspirators have already been convicted and sentenced. Prosecutors wanted at least 14 years at Offill's sentencing Friday, but his defense argued that he should get three years; his attorney says they will appeal.