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Offshore Brokerage Firm Owner Guilty of Money Laundering Conspiracy

Michael J. Randles, 49, a Canadian citizen and permanent resident of Costa Rica, pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Randles controlled and operated Moneyline Brokers, later known as Trinity Asset Services, with his co-conspirator Harold Bailey Gallison II.  Moneyline was an offshore brokerage company located in San Jose, Costa Rica, that did business under the names of various shell companies, including Sandias Azucaradas CR, S.A., Vanilla Sky, Inc., Bastille Advisors, Inc., and Jurojin, Inc.  The purpose of Moneyline was to trade securities, primarily microcap or “penny stocks,” through United States and offshore accounts, often in connection with market manipulation or “pump-and-dump” and “boiler room” securities fraud schemes.  Randles’ managed Moneyline’s office in Costa Rica, operated Moneyline’s unregistered securities business in Europe, and exercised authority over banking and financial transactions. Randles opened United States and offshore brokerage and bank accounts, including in Panama and in Europe that were used to facilitate pump-and-dump and boiler room schemes.  Three of Randles’ co-conspirators, Harold Bailey Gallison II, Ann Marie Hiskey, and Roger G. Coleman, have previously pleaded guilty in the case.  Gallison was sentenced to 216 months, and Hiskey and Coleman were each sentenced to two years’ probation.

Randles faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 25, 2017. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. Assistant U.S. Attorney Grace L. Hill and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys N. Nathan Dimock and Michael O’Neill are prosecuting the case.