Axius Stock-Fraud Cooperator Sentenced to Time ServedChristie Smythe
A Swiss financial professional who U.S. prosecutors said provided “excellent” cooperation in a case against former Axius Inc. Chief Executive Officer Roland Kaufman was sentenced to time served.
Jean-Pierre Neuhaus was sentenced today in Brooklyn, New York, by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson. Neuhaus, who spent 11 months in custody, had been accused along with Kaufman of attempting to illegally manipulate Axius’s stock price.
“I think a sentence of time served is appropriate. It appropriately rewards you for your cooperation,” Gleeson said. “You seem remorseful.”
Prosecutors had filed a letter telling the judge that Neuhaus deserved credit “for his substantial assistance” in the case against Kaufman, who pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy. Neuhaus pleaded guilty in October.
The two men, both Swiss citizens, were arrested in March and accused of attempting to inflate the share price of Dubai-based Axius by bribing stockbrokers.
They were caught after telling an undercover agent, who they thought controlled a network of corrupt brokers, to direct the brokers to buy shares of Axius in exchange for a kickback. The shares were either owned or controlled by Kaufman, according to the government.
Neuhaus agreed to cooperate with the government shortly after his arrest and told prosecutors about additional transactions he had engaged in with Kaufman before they were caught, according to the letter.
Kaufman faces as long as 78 months in prison under nonbinding federal sentencing guidelines.
Axius is a “development stage company” which “intends to link world cultures and business enterprise together under a common umbrella,” according to a report filed in September with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In a June 2008 report, the company is described as a developer of “wind and solar powered boilers.”
The case is U.S. v. Neuhaus, 12-cr-00439, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).