Atlanta entrepreneur Goldstein and his business colleague, and Atlanta lawyer, Bercoon, were convicted by a federal jury in February of twelve counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Pursuant to the resolution of the case for him, Mr. Veugeler pled guilty to a single conspiracy count. All three men were charged in connection with several groups of transactions in which newly issued stock of a formerly private company was sold to public investors on the over-the-counter market. The indictment charged that the men illegally marketed and sold the shares, in ways improperly designed to increase the demand for and sale prices of the stock. Prosecutors asserted losses of well over $4 million, although that amount was challenged by all three defendants and ultimately was determined by the Court to be significantly lesser.
Common sense might suggest that for a company selling its stock into the public market, doing so in ways that would increase the demand for and trading prices of the stock (and thus of the money raised by the equity financing) would be not only an acceptable but also a universal approach. But however common it may be, prosecutors charged that the transactions in this case violated the federal prohibition of so-called “manipulative trading” under the federal securities laws. That prohibition is very broad and applies to share placement and trading practices that have the intent and result of affecting the trading price or volume of the stock, or of giving an inaccurate impression of a broader interest or activity in the stock than actually exists.
Roger C. Wilson practices extensively in the area of federal white collar criminal defense. He has represented numerous persons charged with a variety of financial crimes, including securities fraud, bank fraud, and loan and mortgage fraud, in negotiating resolutions of the charges and in representing such persons at trial.