Michael Randles, a Canadian citizen living in Costa Rica, has been sentenced to two years in prison in the United States for his role as the proprietor of a money laundering platform headquartered in Costa Rica. The platform, known primarily as Moneyline Bankers, operated largely as a trader of what are commonly known as microcaps or “penny stocks” — stocks which have little value and thus can be traded cheaply. Mr. Randles’ scheme, commonly known as a “pump and dump” scheme, involved purchasing large quantities of a stock, thus raising the price of the stock, and then selling the purchased stock after having artificially inflated its value. Mr. Randles then laundered the proceeds of this activity into the U.S. through a Colorado-based company called Bryn Resources, Inc., which purported to be a company that invested in Canadian precious metals, but was in fact a shell corporation with negligible operations or assets. Mr. Randles pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Three of Mr. Randles’ co-conspirators, Harold Bailey Gallison, Ann Marie Hiskey and Roger G. Coleman, had already pleaded guilty to similar charges, with Gallison receiving an 18 year sentence, and Hiskey and Coleman receiving 2 years probation.
The Department of Justice press release can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/owner-offshore-brokerage-firm-sentenced-prison-role-international-money-laundering