A fugitive commodities trader sought by police since May 20 when investigators raided his Coastal Equities Inc. brokerage has been arrested and arraigned on 24 felony counts, including grand theft.
Lincoln Anthony Berridge, 24, was arrested Tuesday at the Vista apartment of a former Coastal employee and arraigned Wednesday in San Diego Municipal Court on charges, including 20 securities fraud counts.
Losses by investors in Carlsbad-based Coastal precious metals futures contracts total a minimum of $733,000, according to San Diego County Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Sullivan, a member of the San Diego Boiler Room Task Force that conducted the May raid.
Bail for Berridge was set at $150,000. If convicted, he faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and fines of $10,000 per count.
The task force, which consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agency investigators, has raided seven precious metals "boiler rooms" since the task force was formed in May, 1986. Boiler rooms are defined as commodities-trading houses that rely on high-pressure telephone solicitation tactics.