Feds: Prisoner Turned Prison Phone into Lucrative Trading Tool
NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal prisoner has been charged with using the phones behind bars to sell stock in phony companies and earn more than $1 million.
A civil complaint filed Tuesday by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to force Anthony Sarivola to surrender the profits and stay out of the securities industry. He was charged along with 15 others with financial fraud.
Sarivola, 40, directed the scheme for four months in 1992 while at the federal prison in Allenwood, Pa., for an unrelated mail-fraud conviction, the complaint alleges.
His 15 associates on the outside, including his wife Donna, allegedly filed SEC documents on the fake companies so he could issue stock certificates he sent to investors.
By allegedly falsifying records of the companies and providing fraudulent documents to an independent auditor, Sarivola artificially inflated the reported assets of shell companies by more than $60 million and realized more than $1 million.
Sarivola, a former reputed mob enforcer, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in September and faces nearly six more years behind bars when he is sentenced Dec. 12.