Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

A former regulator turned securities fraudster has pleaded guilty to the latest charges against him for his role in a penny stock manipulation scheme.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia said that Phillip Offill, Jr. and Justin Wallace Herman admitted to conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. They will be sentenced on June 21.

According to court filings, the pair conspired with others to misappropriate millions of shares of mining company Mansfield-Martin Exploration Mining, Inc. using forged documents and sham transactions, and then dumped those shares on investors.

The company’s stock was misappropriated with the use of fabricated documents that induced the company and its transfer agent to issue millions of shares to satisfy a purported convertible debt obligation, and to transfer millions of shares of another shareholders’ stock to them.

Offill, who once worked as an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was convicted back in 2010 for participating in another multi-million-dollar pump-and-dump scheme. He was serving a three-year term of supervised release (following an eight-year prison term) resulting from that conviction when he orchestrated the latest scheme, authorities said.

The SEC also charged Offill and Herman in connection with this latest case in January 2022.