Charges Filed in Pump & Dump Scheme

BROOKLYN (CN) - The SEC on Thursday accused five men of running a multimillion-dollar pump and dump scheme, describing them as "two self-described bankers, a pair of dishonest brokers, and a corrupt company executive who issued misleading press releases."
     The SEC claims the men "pocketed millions of dollars" by pumping and dumping a medical education company in Pennsylvania and two other microcap stocks.
     Named as defendants are:
     Abraxas J. Discala, CEO of OmniView Capital Advisors, "a self-described 'merchant banking firm;'"
     Marc E. Wexler, president of OmniView;
     Matthew A. Bell and Craig L. Josephberg, registered representatives who allegedly inflated the share price of CodeSmart Holdings;
     and Ira Shapiro, CEO of CodeSmart.
     Only the men, not the companies, are named as defendants in the 30-page federal complaint.
     CodeSmart's share price rose to nearly $7 through the scheme; it now goes at 10 cents, the SEC said in a statement.
     The U.S. District Attorney in Brooklyn announced parallel criminal charges.
     "Discala and Wexler reaped millions of dollars in illicit gains from the CodeSmart scheme, and Bell and Josephberg each made in excess of $500,000," the SEC said in the statement.