Man Released from Prison Faces New Fraud Charges in $11M Investor Stock Scam

The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Edward Durante with bilking investors once again. Durante, who already served a 10-year sentence for a previous securities fraud conviction, is accused of using different aliases to defraud even more investors of millions of dollars and hiding his criminal past.

According to the regulator, Durante sold shares of a shell company that he was secretly in control of and told investors that stock sale proceeds would support the company’s operations. Instead, he allegedly used the funds for his own spending while the company’s stock was worthless.

The Commission contends that Durante started planning this scam while in prison. He purportedly used the name Anthony Walsh to acquire VGTel Inc. He scammed at least 50 inexperienced investors of at least $11 million by selling them this shell company’s stock. (Financial Advisor magazine places the number of investors bilked at closer to 100 investors.)

Durante purportedly used the alias Ted Wise to conduct meetings with investors. He is accused of bribing investment advisers to guide their clients toward VGTel stock without disclosing that he was giving them money to make the recommendations and taking part in VGTel stock-matched trading with a broker so he could artificially control the market price of the stock. In addition to using the alias Anthony Walsh, other alleged aliases include Efran Eisenberg and Ed Simmons.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has filed a parallel case with criminal charges against Durante. He is arrested for conspiracy, wire fraud, perjury, and securities fraud. Durante’s earlier scam resulted in not just a prison term but also he was told to pay $39 million in disgorgement.

Now, once again, criminal charges have been filed against him.

If you suspect that your losses may be due to investor stock fraud, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today.

Advisor of Many Aliases Charged by SEC With Fraud (Again), ThinkAdvisor, December 23, 2015

Fraudster Plotted Crime in the Pen, Feds Say, CourtHouse News, December 21, 2015

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