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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS

Laguna Beach Man Accused of $2-Million Securities Fraud

Crime: U.S. charges Nicolas Myles Garcia with using Canadian company's name to sell shares of shell company.

March 02, 2000|EDMUND SANDERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Laguna Beach man is facing federal fraud charges for improperly using the name of a Canadian company to sell $2 million in stock.

Nicolas Myles Garcia, 36, was charged Tuesday with two counts of securities fraud by the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

Garcia and his associates allegedly bought a shell company in July 1997 and changed its name to ForceTek in an attempt to to deceive potential investors into believing that the company was related to a Canadian company, Force Technologies, according to Gregory Weingart, assistant U.S. attorney.

Garcia also allegedly used marketing materials similar to those used by Force Technologies and changed the company's Nasdaq ticker symbol to the same symbol used by Force Technologies in Canada.

Garcia could not be reached for comment.

Garcia touted his stock through Southern California radio commercials, selling $2 million in ForceTek shares and manipulating the price from 50 cents a share to more than $5.

When the Canadian company issued a press release disavowing any relationship to ForceTek, the stock price collapsed, according to Weingart.

Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned March 13. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

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