Securities Trader Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

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The Securities and Exchange Commission Jan. 24 announced that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Jan. 18 sentenced self-employed securities trader Randy M. Cho to 12 years in prison for perpetrating an investment scheme between 2001 and 2009, resulting in almost $8 million in losses from 57 investors (United States v. Cho, N.D. Ill., No. 1:10 cr 01099, 1/18/13).

Judge James B. Zagel also ordered Cho to pay $7.9 million in restitution.

The indictment charged that Cho's victims were led to believe that they were buying stock in well-known issuers, when in fact, Cho misused the investor funds for his own personal benefit and to make Ponzi scheme-like payments to previous investors. According to the SEC's announcement, “Cho's sentence was lengthened , in part, because Cho lied to the SEC during its investigation.”

In a parallel action, the SEC obtained a final judgment against Cho in August 2010, ordering him to pay around $7.78 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and $150,000 in statutory civil penalty, the announcement added.

To see the SEC's announcement, go to

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