Silverton SA Exec Pleads Guilty in $165 Million Pump-and-Dump Scheme
Richard Targett-Adams, who admittedly worked under Roger “Rocket” Knox at a firm known as Silverton SA, plead guilty to assisting in a $165 million pump-and-dump scheme run by the Swiss asset management company.
In this global scheme, Silverton SA, also known as Wintercap SA, hid investors’ actual control of penny stock companies in an attempt to evade the SEC’s 5% rule in order to sell their shares at inflated prices. Targett-Adams’ role in the scheme was to assist those who controlled more than 5% of an investment fund manage it in a way that led to their own personal gain while hiding the actual depth of their ownership.
Targett-Adams Pleads Guilty before U.S. District Judge
Though Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said that Targett-Adams played a small role relative to Knox in the pump-and-dump scheme, prosecutors still plan to recommend a prison sentence of 10 years and one month under the plea agreement terms.
Additionally, the government will order him to forfeit $160,000 and any interest owned in securities traded by Silverton SA. Prosecutors estimate that the total amount of funds connected to Targett-Adams’ involvement exceeded $150 million.
Pump-and-Dump Scheme Operated on Global Scale
According to court documents, Knox’s operation was of a global scale. Though the asset management firm was based in Switzerland, Targett-Adams lived in France, while Knox would alternate his living arrangements between France and Switzerland. Another co-conspirator by the name of Morrie Tobin lived in Los Angeles and assisted in furthering the scheme. She was not alone in her efforts as two international attorneys Milan Patel and Matthew Ledvina conspired to hide Tobin’s ownership in two companies while they worked at Anaford AG, a Switzerland-based firm. All have agreed to plead guilty for their roles, and are facing civil securities fraud charges from the SEC.
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