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Stock Castle Fraudsters Identified and Charged

July 21, 2015: The SEC filed a civil complaint against a trio of Israeli residents operating the Stock Castle spam email program intended to defraud investors through several Pump & Dump schemes. A grand jury indictment was announced shortly after the SEC's filing.

The Defendants are identified as Joshua Samuel Aaron, 31, working under the pseudonym Mike Shields; Gery Shalon, 31, employing the phony names of Phillipe Mousset and Christopher Engeham; and Zvi Orenstein, 41, aka Aviv Stein and John Avery. Shalon and Orenstein were arrested today by Israeli police and await extradition. Aaron remains at large.

According to the complaint and indictment, the defendants ran several emailed promotional newsletters, including Stock Caste, Wall Street Penny Stock Advisors, and Obscure Stocks.  The emails implored investors to trade shares of companies held by the defendants, promising the kind of ridiculous returns required to entice the unsophisticated public.

The complaint fingers Aaron for writing, creating and helping to design the email and website promotions. Shalon is accused of contributing to the email content; sending out the promotional emails; and, approving the use of funds by Orenstein to purchase domain names. Meanwhile, Orenstein set up websites; maintained brokerage accounts; directed payments to third parties; and, communicated with financial firms about accounts held by of the Defendants.

The indictment specifies that the defendants opened bank and brokerage accounts in  various countries using fake passports with phony identities.

The group is charged with running schemes on Southern Home Medical Devices (SHOM), Greenfield Farms Food (GRAS), Next Generation Energy Corp (NGMC), Mustang Alliances (MSTG), IDO Securities, Inc. (IDOI) and Premier Brands (BRND).

   » Related: Don't You Dare Smoke the GRAS That Greenfield Farms Food is Passing Around

Charges against officers and directors of the subject companies were not announced although neither the complaint nor the indictment addresses how the defendants came to own shares of what were thinly traded companies prior to the Pump & Dump schemes. The SEC apparently doesn't buy into anyone's ignorance:

Other Pump & Dump schemes were perpetrated by the defendants on Nevada Gold (NVGC), USA Graphite (USGT), Imogo Mobile Tech (IMTC), and Integrated Cannabis (IGPK).