April 23, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former enforcement attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in a pump-and-dump stock fraud scheme.
Prosecutors allege that Dallas-based attorney Phillip Offill Jr. aided schemes that by conservative estimates cheated more than 1,500 investors out of at least $2.4 million. The fraudsters would pump up the value of dubious penny stocks and then sell the shares at inflated prices to unwitting buyers.
A jury convicted Offill earlier this year. Eight other coconspirators have already been convicted and sentenced.
Prosecutors at U.S. District Court in Alexandria wanted at least 14 years at Offill's sentencing Friday, but his defense argued that he should get three years. Offill's attorney says they will appeal.
Phillip Offill Jr. Bio: A former senior trial counsel for the SEC in Fort Worth, he represented Halliburton for the Dallas law firm Godwin Gruber (now Godwin Pappas Ronquillo) before leaving to start his own firm earlier this year. He has been sued twice by the SEC in recent months, accused of violating securities laws and engaging in a penny stock scam.
Consolidated Sports says: He oversaw the pump-and-dump on its stock, introduced them to dishonest consultants and investors and approved a misleading junk fax that inflated the company's stock price.
He says: The allegations are false, misleading and inflammatory. He assumed the corporate records were accurate and trusted the consultants and investors. He adds that he never saw the junk fax and wouldn't have approved it.