FBI agents made arrests Thursday in New York and several other states on charges including securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, law enforcement officials said.
One of the defendants named in the 10-count federal indictment is Abraxas Discala, ex-husband of actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played the role of Meadow Soprano on the HBO television series "The Sopranos."
Discala is the CEO of OmniView Capital Advisors and lives in Connecticut. His attorney, Joseph Tacopina, said, "Anyone who knows A.J. is shocked by these allegations. And that is exactly what they are -- merely allegations. He will vigorously defend these charges."
Law enforcement sources describe the fraud allegedly run by the defendants as a “pump and dump” scheme involving penny stocks in which stock manipulators buy large quantities of stock, artificially inflate the price by making misleading statements and then sell the stock at a higher price.
"This lucrative scheme to manipulate our financial markets made the defendants money while draining the bank accounts of innocent investors," added Assistant FBI Director George Venizelos. "Their client-victims trusted them to manage their money as if it were their own, not to steal it."