Phillip Windom Offill, a former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyer in the agency’s Fort Worth, Texas, office was convicted on one count of conspiracy and nine counts of wire fraud for his part in a ‘pump and dump’ scheme selling unregistered securities of nine companies to investors.
“It is a sad day when a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission attorney uses what he learned in the government to later defraud the investing public,” said Lanny A. Breuer, an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department.
Per court documents, Offill, along with co-conspirators, would encourage investors to buy shares in various companies via “blast” emails and phony press releases. When stock prices increased, the co-conspirators, including some chief executives of the companies, sold their stock for profit.
Federal prosecutors in Virginia said they are seeking $15 million in forfeiture. Offill, 51, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16.