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Ex-SEC Lawyer Convicted of Bribery

July 31, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ A former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyer has been convicted in federal court of conspiring to commit wire fraud and interstate commercial bribery in a stock scheme.

Robert D. Schulman, 56, now a securities lawyer, was convicted Wednesday of joining a scheme to make secret payments to stock brokers so they would induce customers to buy shares of Grayhound Electronics Inc.

Schulman was a staff attorney in the New York regional office of the SEC between 1968 and 1971. He now practices privately in New York City, where he lives.

The charges against Schulman stemmed from an FBI undercover investigation in which agents posed as corrupt brokers willing to accept bribes for selling stock to their customers.

Schulman was among more than 40 people arrested in October 1996 as part of a probe dubbed ``Thorcom.″

Schulman’s co-defendant, Alfred P. Avasso, pleaded guilty March 31 to conspiring with Schulman to commit wire fraud and interstate commercial bribery. Avasso was sentenced last week to six months home confinement.

Evidence at trial showed that Schulman told an FBI agent posing as an unscrupulous stock broker that he would make secret payments of Grayhound stock to the broker if he would push the company’s shares on his customers to boost Grayhound’s stock value, prosecutors said.

Schulman deposited 15,000 shares of Grayhound in the agent’s account after the agent bought 50,000 shares of Grayhound for a person Schulman believed was a customer, prosecutors said.

At sentencing Oct. 7, Schulman faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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