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Texas Man Sentenced to Prison in Stock Price Manipulation

A Texas man was sentenced today in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, to 71 months in prison for conspiracy to manipulate stock prices through a “botnet” network.

Christopher Rad, 44, of Cedar Park was part of what federal officials said was an international pump-and-dump scheme that used promotional e-mails to hype stocks in which he and other members of the ring had shares, the U.S. Justice Department said in an e-mailed statement. U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano issued the sentence today, according to a court filing.

The e-mails were sent using global networks of hijacked computers known as botnets, which cyber security experts say are controlled by malicious software and used to send spam e-mails without their owners’ knowledge.

Rad’s lawyer, Francis Montenegro, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

The case is U.S. v. Rad, 11-cr-00161, U.S. District Court for District of New Jersey (Trenton).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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