February 18, 2016: A federal court in Boston, Massachusetts sentenced Michael Affa, to 33 months in prison and fined him $1 million for the Pump & Dump scheme levied on shares of Amogear, Inc. (AMOG). Affa pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud in September 2015. MIchael was a co-defendant with his brother, Andrew Affa, as well as Mitchell H. Brown, Christopher R. Putnam, and Christopher "Gabe" Nix in an action filed in July 2014. The AMOG scheme was intercepted by an FBI undercover operation. In addition to issuing false press releases and executing wash trades, the defendants pumped shares through newsletters that they themselves owned. The Affa brothers ran a series of at least 8 newsletters headed by "Rising Penny Stocks" which actively touted AMOG shares through the weekend of February 8, 2014 and right up to the February 10th's opening bell, when the SEC suspended trading in the stock, thus thwarting the Pump & Dump scheme. Since being charged with the fraud, the boys have sold those publications and they continue to be used to pump worthless penny stocks, but now under an ownership group identifying themselves as Freedom Ventures.
Nix also used his group of email newsletters to push AMOG shares over the same weekend. Nix's newsletters were owned under the umbrella known as Global Marketing Media, LLC. and were headlined by "Penny Stock Circle". Since the charges were levied, these newsletters have been sold to the owner of Stock Mister and are now collectively pushing worthless crap under Micro-cap Consultants, Inc.
Both the Nix and Affa newsletters were among the most followed pump pieces by penny stock pigeons at the time of the indictments and created millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains for their clients. Presumably tired of pumping stock for the benefit of other scoundrels, the AMOG scheme was designed to enrich the touts themselves, as they were intending to receive a portion of the proceeds of from shares dumped into the market. Some of those shares would be sold by an entity controlled by Michael Affa, who denied owning any stock within disclaimers found on his newsletters.
Unfortunately for the criminals, AMOG was controlled by an informant of the FBI and conversations about the plan to defraud were recorded by agents for the FBI.