Discala was charged with running a $300 million stock manipulation scam that cheated retired people and other investors.
In all, he was hit with 10 criminal counts including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court Brooklyn on Thursday (July 17). The indictment covers a period from Oct. 2012 to this month.
Nothing was sophisticated about the alleged scam. It was a simple mob-style pump-and-dump scheme, similar to one run by Jordon Belfort, who was featured in the Martin Scorsese film “Wolf of Wall Street.”
Discala, 43, was chief executive officer of merchant banking firm OmniView Capital Advisors. The firm was allegedly a front for the scheme, according to the feds.
He and a series of co-defendants illegally manipulated stock prices and trade volumes through four front companies, CodeSmart Holdings Inc., Cubed Inc., StarStream Entertainment Inc. and Staffing Group Ltd.
They manipulated stocks by issuing misleading press releases and regulatory filings, concealing ownership stakes and making unauthorized purchases from accounts without the knowledge of investors.
“When the defendants stopped their criminal game of musical shares, it was the unsuspecting investors who were left holding the bag,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said at a news conference.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also filed civil charges.
“This was a brazen manipulation scheme calculated to enrich Discala and his accomplices using, in many cases, the retirement savings of innocent and unwitting retail investors,” SEC enforcement chief Andrew Ceresney told Reuters.
Discala’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said the charges are, merely “allegations.”
Sigler, 33, met DiScala when she was 19 and living on Long Island. He was 10 years her senior. Sigler began acting and singing at age 7 and DiScala became her manager.
“The Sopranos” debuted in 1999 and ran through 2007. She married DiScala in 2003. They divorced two years later.
She started dating baseball player Cutter Dykstra, son of former major leaguer Lenny Dykstra, and give birth to their son, Beau Kyle Dykstra, last August. The two are engaged.