MANHATTAN (CN) – The CEO of Smart Online was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for manipulating the company’s share price, and his brother was sentenced to 18 months. A jury convicted CEO Dennis Michael Nouri and his brother, Reza Eric Nouri, of conspiracy, fraud and bribery.
Reza had been a staff member at his brother’s company, whose shares traded over the counter.
Prosecutors say they had recordings of Dennis Nouri explaining how to cover up the scheme and conceal the kickbacks they paid to brokers.
“It was brazen fraud,” U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said at the sentencing. “Bribing brokers, cash payments, trying to get people to lie. … I do believe that Mr. Nouri was in essence stealing from the company as well as hurting the victims we heard from at trial,” prosecutors said in announcing the sentences.