SANTA ANA – A Dana Point man signed a plea deal with prosecutors Thursday, admitting he was involved in a scheme to inflate the value of a company’s stock that was then dumped for millions of dollars.
Gregory Turville Harry agreed to plead guilty to one count of securities fraud. He could be facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $5 million fine, but federal prosecutors are expected to recommend a lower sentence, according to the agreement.
According to the plea deal, Harry was a partner at paladin Global Group Inc., a Nevada-based business with offices in Capistrano Beach.
The business provided annual reports, state filings, gave opinions and tracked the trading of stock for small cap companies.
From May 2004 to Dec. 2005, the company allegedly created a financial newsletter about a company named Austin Chalk Oil, which claimed the company was pumping hundreds of barrels of oil a day, and that investors could see returns of 300 to 500 percent in four months.
But, according to the plea deal, Harry and the other defendants knew the information was false and the company was in fact “a public shell company with minimal revenues and assets worth less than $130,000.”
In the agreement, Harry admitted to selling his shares for millions.