A Stevenson Ranch man was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $6 million in restitution to the people he swindled.
After several postponed sentencing dates reaching back more than a year, Gregory Evan Goldstein, 44, was sentenced Thursday in United States District Court Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division, for his part in a wide-reaching penny-stock fraud scheme that cost investors $27 million.
“Thirty-three months in prison, $6.3 million in restitution,” Michael Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice in Ohio, told The Signal Thursday when asked about Goldstein’s sentence.
News of the sentence left at least one of his local woman angry and disappointed.
“I’m upset at this,” said Wendy San George who identified herself as one of the victims in the fraud scheme.
“I’m horrified. I’m absolutely horrified as a victim,” she told The Signal Thursday.
“What it shows me is that you can live in luxury on other peoples’ money, go to Paris, eat at fancy restaurants – all on other peoples’ money,” she said.
“And, he’s going to pay for it in less than three years.”
In 2015, Goldstein was named by federal prosecutors in a wide-reaching penny-stock fraud scheme that cost investors $27 million. He was to be sentenced in early 2016 after he admitted in court to wire fraud as his part in the scam.
After entering his plea and then posting a $20,000 bond, Goldstein was released from custody with the promise to appear back in court for sentencing.
Sentencing for wire fraud could earn as much as 20 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach signed a 28-page criminal information document against Goldstein on Sept. 9, 2015, in Ohio.
“Although the charges allege a sophisticated ‘penny stock’ scheme, there was nothing small-scale about this,” Dettelback said in a news release on Cope’s arrest. “The defendants in this case, through trickery and manipulation, made millions and millions of dollars on the backs of innocent investors.”
From Sept. 21, 2007 to about April 3, 2014, Goldstein, with others, defrauded investors and potential investors by issuing millions of shares to themselves at little or no cost, and then artificially controlling the price and volume of traded shares, according to the criminal charges.
Goldstein and the others did this, prosecutors said, by paying undisclosed commissions to brokers and former brokers for directing client funds to make both authorized and unauthorized investments via Marquis Financial Services of Indiana Inc.
Prosecutors also identified Goldstein as a controlling member of Marquis, which had its principal place of business in Encino, court papers show.
He was also identified by prosecutors as the chief executive officer of Wall Street At Home.com, Inc., a New York corporation with its principal place of business also in Encino.
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