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 / Updated  / Source: Reuters

Authorities unveiled criminal charges Thursday accusing seven people, including a banking executive once married to a star of "The Sopranos," of running a $300 million stock manipulation scheme that cheated elderly and other investors. Abraxas "A.J." Discala — the CEO of merchant banking firm OmniView Capital Advisors and former husband of Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Meadow Soprano on the hit HBO series — was charged in an indictment unsealed in Brooklyn, New York, with 10 criminal counts including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Discala, 43, and the other defendants were accused of using "pump-and-dump" and other illegal tactics to artificially control prices and trade volumes in four companies from October 2012 to July 2014. Joseph Tacopina, a lawyer for Discala, said: "Anyone who knows A.J. is shocked by these allegations. And that is exactly what they are, merely allegations." The four companies are CodeSmart Holdings, Cubed, StarStream Entertainment and Staffing Group Ltd. Others indicted were OmniView President Marc Wexler, 52; CodeSmart CEO Ira Shapiro, 53; brokers Matthew Bell, 47, and Craig Josephberg, 41; Kyleen Cane, 59, a Las Vegas lawyer; and Victor Azrak, 32, vice president of Excel Corp.

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