Three Californian men have been sentenced to time in prison over allegations of running a phoney CBD company. The three men, Chip Hackley, 49, of Hermosa Beach, CA, Harold Minsky, 81, of Northridge, CA, and George Matin, 51, of Los Angeles, CA are alleged to have fraudulently written fake press releases to boost the stock prices of a shell CBD company. The press releases were meant to show the prosperity of the company.
The three men conspired to fraudulently manipulate the trading volume and stock price of Holy Grail, a public company. In the conspiracy, Minsky and Matin also tried the same on a gold mining business by the name WGE Holdings Corp. Hackley, who joined the fraud later did not take part in the latter but was enjoined in the Holy Grail conspiracy.
Minsky and Matin are reported to target an estimated $9 million in illegal profits, which corresponded to the same amount on the victims’ losses. On the other hand, Hackley intended to hit $4 million in illegal proceeds.
The three were separately charged with conspiracy, and securities fraud, and wire fraud. They all pleaded guilty of the accusations.
Two of the men, Matin, and Hackley were each sentenced to 15 months in prison which will be followed by two years of supervision after their release. The sentence was announced by First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier.
Their co-conspirator, Minsk, received a one year and one day sentence on September 16th as announced by United States District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond. The 81-year-old will also go through the same period of supervision as Matin and Hackley.
According to U.S. Attorney Williams, innocent people intending to save and invest are on the losing end in such pump and dump schemes. With such schemes, the markets can not be trusted to be free and fair, which puts off potential investors.