More News:

April 14, 2017

Philly lawyer charged in stock scheme involving company planning to market marijuana breath detector

Courts Crime
06252015_Gavel Brian Turner/Wikimedia Commons


A Philadelphia attorney was among four men arrested Friday on charges related to his alleged involvement in schemes to manipulate the stock of BioCube, Inc., federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York announced Friday.

BioCube, Inc. is a seven-year-old publicly traded company that among a "series of business purposes" had plans to "market and distribute devices for detecting marijuana on a user's breath," according to prosecutors.

The four defendants were arrested on charges of fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Two million dollars in illegal proceeds were allegedly laundered through offshore bank and brokerage accounts, prosecutors said. 

Michal Garnick, a 58-year-old Philadelphia-based attorney, joined Chris Messalas, 50, a former securities broker, Dimitrios Argyros, 50, an anti-money laundering consultant and Boris Rubizhevky, 66, former CEO of BioCube, both from New Jersey.

Garnick was charged with securities fraud conspiracy. He was scheduled to appear at a federal courthouse in Philadelphia Friday afternoon.

“When would-be stockholders purchased shares of BioCube, Inc., they knew about the market risks involved in investing,” said Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI's New York office William Sweeney in a statement. “What they didn’t know was that the odds had already been stacked against them, as alleged, in this ruse concocted by the four individuals charged today. Those who employ schemes to capitalize on other people’s losses will most certainly be brought to justice, and we’re here to remind criminals that this type of dishonorable behavior will never be acceptable."

A message at Garnick's offices, Garnick & Associates, P.C. at 15th and Walnut streets, was not returned Friday evening.