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Former SEC Lawyer pleads guilty to fraud in Dreier investment scheme

[JURIST] Former Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) [official website] lawyer Robert Miller pleaded guilty [plea agreement, PDF] in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] to one count [criminal information, PDF] of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy in connection with the Marc Dreier [NYT backgrounder] fraud case, the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced [press release, PDF] Monday. According to the DOJ, Miller impersonated the manager of a Canadian pension plan in phone conversations in 2008 to help Dreier sell a fictitious promissory note Dreier claimed was worth $44.7 million to a New York hedge fund. As part of the plea agreement, Miller promised to cooperate with investigators and agreed to forfeit the $100,000 Dreier paid him for his role in the scheme. Miller faces a maximum jail sentence of 20 years and over $5 million in fines when he is sentenced February 5.

Last week, Dreier's former broker Kosta Kovachev pleaded guilty [NYT report] to conspiracy to commit wire securities fraud and wire fraud and to wire fraud for his role in the scheme. Dreier, the founder and managing partner of New York-based law firm Dreier LLP, was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison for selling $700 million in false promissory notes. In May, Dreier pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to one count of money laundering and numerous fraud and conspiracy counts. Dreier was arrested [DOJ press release, PDF] in New York in December after being arrested and then released in Canada. He was charged with one count of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud. A superseding indictment [DOJ press release, PDF] filed in March charged him with one count of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering.

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