Alleged Market Manipulator Sentenced in Parallel Criminal Case

Litigation Release No. 24727 / January 29, 2020

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Eric T. Landis et al., No. 1:18-cv-12453 (D. Mass. filed November 28, 2018)

United States v. Eric Landis, No. 1:18-cr-10443 (D. Mass. filed November 27, 2018)

Eric T. Landis, an alleged recidivist market manipulator of Virginia who was charged by the SEC in a 2018 enforcement action, was sentenced on January 24, 2020, in a parallel criminal action to six months in prison and two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. The court deferred ruling on restitution until a later date. Landis had pleaded guilty in January 2019 to one count of securities fraud and one count of aiding and abetting securities fraud in the parallel criminal action.

The criminal charges against Landis, brought by the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, stem from the same misconduct alleged in the SEC's Complaint, filed on November 28, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Landis and an entity he controlled, Ridgeview Capital Partners LLC, allegedly orchestrated a scheme to manipulate trading in at least 97 microcap stocks, which included placing thousands of manipulative trades over the course of three years. In June 2019, Landis and Ridgeview agreed to settle the SEC's charges by consenting to a prohibition on promoting or participating in the issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any security, including penny stocks, and to pay disgorgement in an amount to be determined by the court at a later date.

Landis was previously found liable in 2003 in a lawsuit brought by the SEC and convicted of related criminal charges in a prior market manipulation scheme.