HOUSTON (CN) – Three men who pumped and dumped the stock of their so-called oil services company, Grifco International, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud.
Alex Ellerman, 36, of Chicago, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the federal felony before Senior U.S. District Judge David Hittner.
Evan “Nick” Jarvis, 37, and Jim Dial, 54, both of Houston, pleaded guilty to the same offense on Friday, March 4.
Prosecutors say they all admitted to conspiring to enrich themselves by artificially inflating the price of their publicly traded company from 2004 through 2007.
Grifco describes itself on its website as “a leading provider of oil and gas services equipment, specializing in the conception, design, and development of tools for the coil tubing, wire line, and snubbing industry throughout the US, China, Mexico and South America.”
All three men admitted knowing that Grifco issued a press release containing false information about Grifco’s revenue and net income and that they willfully and knowingly profited from the false press release by selling Grifco stock.
In his plea agreement, Jarvis agreed to pay the United States the $2 million he swiped from shareholders.
All three men face a maximum of 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and restitution. Judge Hittner set Ellerman’s sentencing for June 8; Jarvis and Dial will be sentenced on June 6.