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Investor Agrees to Face Charges in N.Y.

June 06, 2002|E. SCOTT RECKARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Amr I. "Anthony" Elgindy, the Encinitas speculator accused of using FBI secrets to manipulate stock prices, has agreed to be taken to New York, where he and four others face charges of racketeering, fraud, extortion and obstruction of justice.

Elgindy, 34, waived his right to an extradition hearing during an appearance Tuesday in federal court. He was being held without bail Wednesday in San Diego and it was unclear when marshals would take him to New York, said Bill Muller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn.

An extradition hearing for defendant Troy M. Peters is scheduled for today in San Diego. Three other alleged accomplices have surrendered in New York or promised to appear there: Derrick W. Cleveland, accused of helping Elgindy and Peters spread negative information on firms; former FBI agent Jeffrey A. Royer, who allegedly gleaned secrets from confidential FBI databases and was paid more than $30,000 by Cleveland; and FBI agent Lynn Wingate, who also is accused of misusing bureau databases.

Elgindy, a short seller who profited when stocks declined, charged investors up to $600 a month for access to the online chat room where he first posted tips on the companies he considered overvalued.

A Justice Department unit looking for financial connections to Sept. 11 began the investigation of the Egyptian-born Elgindy, and a prosecutor at a bail hearing suggested he may have had advance knowledge of the attacks. But none of the formal charges are related to terrorism, and in an interview Elgindy vehemently denied any link to the Sept. 11 attacks.

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