Sandy Winick, a Canadian citizen who was extradited from Thailand, was sentenced at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, to 78 months in prison following his July 2015 guilty plea to conspiring to commit wire fraud for running an international advance fee scheme. The sentencing proceeding was held before United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano. As part of the sentence, Winick was ordered to pay $2,431,038.32 in restitution and $5,000,000 in forfeiture.
According to the indictment and other court filings, between 2008 and 2013, Winick was the leader of two multi-million dollar fraud schemes that used call centers around the world to defraud unsuspecting investors. In the first scheme, Winick, together with other defendants, was charged with engaging in an international “pump and dump” operation. Specifically, Winick and his co-defendants secretly controlled and fraudulently inflated the share price of worthless penny stocks through false and misleading press releases and manipulative trading and then sold billions of the fraudulently-inflated shares to investors across the globe. In the second scheme, Winick, together with other defendants, was charged with operating boiler rooms in four countries to induce investments in penny stocks, including investments by many of the victims in the first scheme, to pay advance fees that the defendants promised would enable them to sell the stocks and recover any losses they incurred. In reality, Winick and his co-defendants stole more than $5 million from the duped investors and never provided any services. Winick established and operated boiler rooms or call centers in various locations around the world, including Canada, Thailand, and China, to solicit fees from the victims. Winick also planned to open a call center in Brooklyn.