U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 21751 / November 22, 2010

U.S. v. George Georgiou, Criminal Action No. 09-88 (E.D. Pa.)

SEC v. George Georgiou, Civil Action No. 09-CV-616 (E.D. Pa.)

GEORGE GEORGIOU SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON AND ORDERED TO PAY $55,832,398 IN RESTITUTION AS A RESULT OF HIS CONVICTION FOR SECURITIES FRAUD AND OTHER CHARGES RELATING TO MULTIMILLION DOLLAR MARKET MANIPULATION SCHEMES.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on November 19, 2010, George Georgiou, of Toronto Ontario, was sentenced in a parallel criminal action for his role in manipulating the market in four separate microcap stocks - Avicena Group, Inc., Neutron Enterprises, Inc., Hydrogen Hybrid Technologies, Inc., and Northern Ethanol, Inc. Judge Robert F. Kelly of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania sentenced Georgiou to 25 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $55,832,398 in restitution. Georgiou was convicted of securities fraud, conspiracy, and wire fraud on February 12, 2010, after a three week jury trial prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Commission previously filed a civil injunctive action against Georgiou based on the same conduct. According to the Commission's complaint, from 2004 through September 2008, Georgiou, who controlled the publicly-traded stock of each company, manipulated the market for the purpose of artificially inflating each company's stock price or to create the false appearance of an active and liquid market. In order to do so, Georgiou used many nominee accounts that he either directly or indirectly controlled at offshore broker-dealers and banks, and used a variety of manipulative techniques, including matched orders and wash sales. The Commission's action is currently stayed.

For further information, see Litigation Release Nos. 21426 (February 25, 2010) and 20899 (February 12, 2009).

 
http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2010/lr21751.htm

Last modified: 11/22/2010