NORWALK, Conn. -- A Norwalk man and former husband of "The Sopranos" star Jamie-Lynn Sigler was charged last week in a $300 million penny stock scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.
The 10-count indictment handed down Thursday named Abraxas J. Discala, better known as AJ, CEO of OmniView Capital Advisors, and several of his associates as ringleaders who conspired to defraud investors by manipulating the value and trading activity of four companies: CodeSmart, Cubed, StarStream and Staffing Group, Lynch said in a statement. The charges include securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud.
Discala and his associates altered stock prices of the companies by producing fake press releases, falsifying reports to the SEC and making unauthorized purchases in the accounts of unknowing investors, according to the U.S. attorney.
“Discala and his company insiders, registered brokers, investment advisers, an attorney and corrupt investors designed an elaborate but fraudulent scheme built on lies, deceit and manipulated trading activity to defraud the securities markets and the investing public," Lynch said in a statement. "They took companies with essentially no assets or activity and deceived the market into believing they were worth hundreds of millions of dollars through a dizzying round of insider and unauthorized trades. When the defendants stopped their criminal game of musical shares it was the unsuspecting investors who were left holding the bag."
Discala and his fellow suspects orchestrated these "false" price swings between October 2012 and July 2014, Lynch said.
There are seven defendants, including Discala. Other suspects charged include: Marc Wexler, managing director of OmniView; Ira Shapiro, chief executive officer of CodeSmart Holdings; Matthew Bell, a registered broker and investment adviser representative; Craig Josephberg, a registered broker; Kyleen Cane, an attorney; and Victor Azrak, vice president and director of Excel Corp.