A former Beverly Hills stockbroker who worked with a fugitive hedge fund manager was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for his role in a stock manipulation scheme that fleeced investors out of more than $200 million.
Todd Ficeto, 53, was also ordered to serve five years on supervised release after getting out of prison and pay restitution of nearly $216 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued for a term of home detention in light of the coronavirus pandemic raging in prisons.
Ficeto was convicted a year ago in Los Angeles of 18 federal criminal charges, including conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
Ficeto, who most recently lived in Marion, Ohio, was formerly president of a Beverly Hills-based firm, Hunter World Markets. Prosecutors say the firm, co-owned by Florian Hamm, took part in a global scheme to artificially prop up the price of penny stocks that were sold to hedge funds. That, in turn, pumped up the hedge fund prices, resulting in profits for Homm, who had a hedge fund management business run from Spain, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Homm is facing securities fraud and wire fraud charges. In March 2013, he was arrested at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. He was ultimately released before he could be extradited to Los Angeles and is believed to have fled to Germany, where he remains a fugitive, prosecutors said.