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by Mike Caswell
James Panther, one of those charged in Arizona alongside Vancouver lawyer Faiyaz Dean for the Biozoom Inc. pump-and-dump, has agreed to plead guilty. The government cited him for helping with the $34-million Biozoom scheme, setting up brokerage accounts in the names of nominees and organizing a promotional campaign. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He and Mr. Dean arranged to have blocks of shares held in the names of Argentine nominees ahead of the scheme, and Mr. Panther then helped others secretly direct trading in those accounts, the government says.
Details of Mr. Panther's plea, including any co-operation with prosecutors with respect to the other defendants, are not yet public. His plea agreement, assuming prosecutors decide to make it available, will be filed when he appears before a judge to plead guilty. To that end, on Friday, May 8, the judge adjourned a pretrial conference and referred the case to a magistrate for a change of plea hearing.
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