Hemp Wine Stock Scam: Federal Crackdown on Fraudulent Scheme 

A federal investigation revealed a pump-and-dump scheme by eight men involving hemp-infused wine, leading to their conviction and the recovery of over $400,000 for defrauded investors.

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Financial fraud

An in-depth federal investigation led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Ohio, has uncovered the murky details of a pump-and-dump scheme by eight men to inflate the stock price of Global Resources, Inc. On February 13, 2024, it was announced that the perpetrators’ convictions were secured, along with the recovery of over $400,000 in victim restitution.

This financial fraud involved plans for the introduction of hemp-infused wine into the market, attracting unsuspecting investors who fell victim to the elaborate stock manipulation.

A Timeline of Events in the GBEN Scheme

From February 2014 to August 2020, the defendants conspired to defraud cannabis investors through well-organized plots. They issued themselves millions of shares without properly compensating the company, giving them undue control over the price and trading volume. Furthermore, they used manipulative tactics to hide their identities as share sellers while marketing the stocks at inflated prices to an unsuspecting public.

These actions caught the attention of federal investigators and, consequently, sent shockwaves through the world of financial securities. The result is a notable example of law enforcement’s dedication to combating fraud and protecting investors.

Sentencing of the Convicted Perpetrators

In light of their misdeeds, the following sentences were handed down to the defendants: Thomas Collins (37 months imprisonment), Patrick Thomas (18 months imprisonment), Hughe Duwayne Graham (12 months and one-day imprisonment), Brian Kingsfield (37 months imprisonment), Gary Kouletas (43 months imprisonment), and Scott Levine (18 months imprisonment).

The severity of these punishments underscores that financial fraud does not go unnoticed or unpunished by law enforcement authorities. Furthermore, they serve as a stern reminder for individuals or groups contemplating stock manipulation tactics.

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Recovery of Victim Restitution Funds

Over $400,000 was recovered to be paid back to victims as part of the investigation and sentencing processes. This restitution helps alleviate some of the financial losses incurred by those duped by the elaborate ploy crafted by the eight men.

Such outcomes demonstrate that law enforcement agencies remain vigilant in pursuing justice for those affected by financial fraud schemes and ensure perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

A Call for Vigilance in the Investment World

The GBEN pump-and-dump scheme conviction and recent financial fraud cases demonstrate the importance of vigilance in investments. Investors should thoroughly research before committing their hard-earned money into seemingly promising ventures. It is crucial to verify the integrity of those involved, seek professional advice if necessary, and ensure that proper checks and balances are maintained throughout any investment process.

While federal investigators tirelessly work to unravel fraud schemes and protect innocent victims, the onus also falls upon the investing public. Being informed and cautious can help deter scammers and perpetrators from having free rein with people’s finances.

Rita Ferreira

Rita Ferreira

Rita is a seasoned writer with over five years of experience, having worked with globally renowned platforms, including Forbes and Miister CBD. Her deep knowledge of hemp-related businesses and passion for delivering accurate and concise information distinguish her in the industry. Rita's contributions empower individuals and companies to navigate the complexities of the cannabis world, and her work remains a valuable resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of its potential.

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