Crooked Stock Brokers Get Prison

MANHATTAN (CN) – Two stock brokers were sentenced to federal prison on Thursday and a third got probation for manipulating the over-the counter stock of Smart Online. They also were ordered to pay $728,000 in restitution.

     Anthony Martin, 50, was sentenced to 57 months in prison; Alain Lustig, 40, to 28 months; and Ruben Serrano, 57, to 3 years probation.
     Smart Online sold software and data resources to small businesses over the Internet. The defendants took kickbacks, typically of $1 per share, for each client they induced to buy the stock, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
They were charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and commercial bribery.
Also charged in a superseding indictment in May were Smart Online CEO Dennis M. Nouri, and his brother-employee, Reza E. Nouri. The Nouris pleaded guilty to nine counts of securities fraud and will be sentenced on Feb. 17, 2010.

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