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SDNY Charges Swiss BlackLight and Founder With Stock Manipulation While OneCoin Exhibits Withheld

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 2 – While the charging a Swiss entity and its founder for alleged stock manipulation was announced by the SDNY US Attorney's Office, that Office has still not provided its exhibits on OneCoin, regarding which promotions continue around the world.

From the January 2 announcement of an indictment charging BLACKLIGHT, S.A., a Swiss entity purporting to offer asset management and trustee services, and its founder and principal owner, KENNETH CIAPALA, as well as ULRIK DEBO, a/k/a “Molgaard Debo,” a/k/a “Ulrik Molgaard,” with engaging in a long-running stock manipulation scheme involving numerous United States issuers: 

"CIAPALA and DEBO were arrested in the United Kingdom, and the United States Government will be seeking their extradition to the United States.  As alleged in the Indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court: BLACKLIGHT, S.A. (“BLACKLIGHT”), a Swiss entity based in Geneva, Switzerland, that purported to offer asset management and trustee services to its clients, and a founder and co-principal of BLACKLIGHT, KENNETH CIAPALA, executed a wide-ranging stock manipulation scheme that spanned from in or about 2013 through December 2019 in which they manipulated the share price and trading volume of the publicly traded shares of multiple companies, and laundered the proceeds generated by the scheme.  CIAPALA, utilizing BLACKLIGHT, set up various nominee entities to help scheme participants conceal their ownership of public company shares and evade SEC reporting requirements.  BLACKLIGHT opened bank accounts and brokerage accounts on behalf of these nominee entities and executed trades in accounts held by these nominee entities in furtherance of the stock manipulation scheme.                 

ULRIK DEBO, a Danish citizen who resided in Europe, furthered the stock manipulation scheme by, among other things, identifying suitable publicly traded shell companies that could be used in the scheme; identifying, in certain instances, suitable privately held companies to engage in “reverse merger” transactions with the shell companies; obtaining financing to purchase all or substantially all of the outstanding shares of the issuers; causing various nominee entities to obtain ownership of the issuer’s shares; identifying and paying “promoters” that issued exaggerated and, at times, false press releases about the issuers in order to raise the trading price and volume of the issuer’s shares; and identifying and paying various “trading specialists” who assisted in artificially manipulating the trading volume and price of the issuer’s shares. 

 As alleged, from at least 2013 through December 2019, CIAPALA and his firm, BLACKLIGHT, as well as others, conspired to defraud the investing public by orchestrating and facilitating the manipulation of multiple publicly traded stocks, commonly referred to as “pump and dump” schemes.  The vast majority of the stocks that CIAPALA, BLACKLIGHT, DEBO, and their co-conspirators sought to manipulate were “penny” or “microcap” stocks that traded in the United States on the over-the-counter (“OTC”) market.  In executing these pump and dump schemes, CIAPALA, BLACKLIGHT, DEBO, and their co-conspirators (i) secretly amassed beneficial ownership of all, or substantially all, of the stock of certain publicly traded companies; (ii) began manipulating the price and demand for these stocks through, among other means, the release of materially false information to the investing public and manipulative trading practices, thereby causing the share price of these stocks to become artificially inflated; and (iii) sold out of their secretly-amassed positions at artificially inflated values at the expense of the investing public.                 

CIAPALA, using his firm BLACKLIGHT, primarily furthered the stock manipulation scheme by helping other participants in the scheme to obscure their beneficial ownership and control of all or substantially all of the shares of companies whose securities they sought to manipulate.  CIAPALA caused BLACKLIGHT to establish nominee entities that were registered in the names of various third parties to hold the shares that were, in reality, beneficially owned and controlled by the scheme participants.  In order to obscure their ownership interests, CIAPALA, BLACKLIGHT, DEBO, and others typically caused these nominee entities’ holdings to be structured so as to ensure that no single nominee entity held more than five percent of the outstanding stock of any of the relevant companies.                

CIAPALA also caused BLACKLIGHT to open bank accounts in the names of these nominee entities and to trade shares owned by these nominee entities through various brokerage accounts.  Through BLACKLIGHT, CIAPALA exercised trading authority over these nominee entities’ shares, and CIAPALA directed brokers to execute trades on behalf of these nominee entities in furtherance of the stock manipulation scheme.  After CIAPALA, BLACKLIGHT, DEBO, and others participating in the scheme had obtained control of all or substantially all of the shares of a company, the scheme participants manipulated the share price and trading volume of the stock of the company.  This typically occurred through a promotional campaign and through certain manipulative trading practices.                 

With respect to the promotional campaign, CIAPALA, BLACKLIGHT, DEBO, and others participating in the scheme caused promotional materials to be distributed to the investing public that contained exaggerated and, at times, false claims about the company whose stock they sought to manipulate. The scheme participants concealed from the investing public that these promotional materials were financed and created at the direction of those who beneficially owned and controlled substantially all of the shares of the relevant company that was the subject of the promotion.                 

In addition, to drive investor demand and artificially inflate the share price, CIAPALA, BLACKLIGHT, DEBO, and other participants also engaged in manipulative trading activity in order to artificially increase the trading volume and share price of the issuers whose stock they sought to manipulate.  This manipulative trading activity included “match” trades whereby the scheme participants caused multiple nominee entities they controlled to essentially trade with one another to create the false appearance of trading volume and demand for the stock.      Laundering of the Profits Generated by the Scheme                          

As a result of the stock manipulation scheme, the scheme’s participants reaped millions of dollars in illicit profits by selling the shares they beneficially owned and controlled into the market at artificially inflated prices.  After these crime proceeds were generated, CIAPALA and BLACKLIGHT allegedly assisted other scheme participants in obtaining their share of the proceeds by sending these funds to them in a manner designed to conceal the source of these funds and the identity of the true recipients of the funds.

 With CIAPALA’s knowledge and at times at his direction, transfers of the proceeds of the stock manipulation scheme were executed in a manner intended to conceal the true source of the funds and the recipients of these funds by, for example, using fabricated invoices to justify wire transfers from accounts held in the names of nominee entities (controlled and operated by BLACKLIGHT) to other bank accounts controlled by the scheme participants." But which banks?

  Inner City Press covered a bail decision / denial by Judge Aaron on January 2, and was grateful to receive an answer about the (continuing) detention of Virgil Griffith - but is still concerned with the OneCoin exhibits, for which it has had to file a FOIA request, still not fulfilled.


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