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SEC charges Hawaii man in alleged $35 million stock fraud

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:34 p.m. HST, May 16, 2012

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Hawaii man in an alleged $35 million "boiler room" stock fraud scheme.

An SEC news release said Nicholas Louis Geranio created eight U.S. based companies to raise money through the sale of Regulation Stock, which is exempt from SEC registration because it is offered only to investors outside the United States.

The release said Geranio set up "boiler rooms" from which workers made high-pressure sales calls to sell stock, raising more than $35 million from investors.

The SEC said Geranio instructed people to buy and sell shares "to create an illusion of trading activity and manipulate upwards the price of the publicly traded stock."

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