An attorney from Merrick admitted to using the online university he founded to con investors in an $86-million stock pump-and-dump scheme with the help of his company’s former CEO four years ago.

Darren Ofsink, 48, pleaded guilty Wednesday at Brooklyn federal court to conspiracy to commit securities fraud along with 56-year-old Ira Shapiro of Congers.

Prosecutors said the duo led CodeSmart Holdings, a publicly-traded company, when they engineered a reverse merger with a public shell company, gained control of CodeSmart’s three million unrestricted shares and twice fraudulently inflated the company’s share price and trading volume before selling their shares at a profit between May and September 2013.

The first time, they pumped stock prices from $1.77 to $6.94 before dumping it and months later, they pumped it from $2.19 to $4.60 before selling, authorities said. But company paperwork they filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission listed only $6,000 in total assets, $7,600 in revenue and a net loss of $103,141. By July of the following year, the company’s stock was valued at one cent per share.

They face up to five years in prison, a fine, forfeiture of proceeds and will be required to make full restitution to their victims when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.