NEWARK, N.J. — Eight men associated with a penny stock brokerage firm in New Jersey were indicted Tuesday in the government's continuing crackdown on penny stock fraud.
The government is seeking more than $12 million from seven of the eight defendants who worked at F. D. Roberts Securities Inc., a penny stock brokerage in Paramus, N.J., under the federal racketeering statute, said U.S. Atty. Samuel Alito.
F. D. Roberts, which was closed in February, 1989, had branches in New York, Florida, Georgia and California as well as New Jersey, court papers showed.
Under the racketeering statute, Leonard Tucker, 30, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Fred Galiardo, 45, of Daytona Beach, Fla., former chairman of F. D. Roberts, were charged with security, mail and wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen properties.
The two men face up to 100 years in prison each and multimillion-dollar fines if convicted.
According to the indictment, more than $67 million in illicit profits were alleged to have been derived from the illegal practices used by F. D. Roberts' salespersons.
Penny stock firms have come under investigation for using high-pressure sales tactics to bilk unsuspecting customers out of millions of dollars each year.
Charged in the indictment, issued by a Newark federal grand jury, were two additional owners of F. D. Roberts, three relatives of Leonard Tucker who were employed by the firm, and a company assistant branch manager, Alito said.
John Perfetti, 44, of Bayville, N.Y.; Alan Lieb, 37, of Pine Brook, N.J.; Daniel Tucker, 27, of Boca Raton, Fla.; Gary Tucker, 25, of New York; John Montomdo, 29, and Richard Thaw, 54, both of Boca Raton, were charged.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said 16 men and one woman have already pleaded guilty charges arising from the investigation of the firm.