Thai cops arrest duo over ‘one of the largest international penny stock frauds’ ever

Gregory Curry, left, arrives at the criminal court in Bangkok. The 63-year-old Canadian was arrested in connection with a scam that cost investors $140 million worldwide. Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

BANGKOK -- Two Canadians accused of scamming more than $140 million in "one of the largest international penny stock frauds and advance fee schemes in history" have been arrested in Thailand, police said Wednesday. 

Gregory Curry, 63, was arrested Tuesday at his ex-wife's house in Kabin Buri district in the eastern province of Prachin Buri, Lt. Col. Kanaphat Phahumunto said.

Curry had been living in Thailand for 14 years, he added.

"His Thai wife told police he paid her 20,000 baht ($630) to find a place for him to hide and we found him on Tuesday morning at his ex-wife's residence," Kanaphat said.

Prachin Buri is 60 miles east of Bangkok. 

The suspected mastermind, 55-year-old Sandy Winick, was also apprehended by Thai police on Saturday. 

The pair is among nine men the FBI suspects of selling worthless penny stocks to people around the globe at pumped-up prices, federal authorities in New York said Tuesday.

Then they allegedly victimized the investors again by setting up a fake law firm that charged them to try to get their money back. 

Seven of them were arrested in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 13, according to the FBI. 

"[Winick and Curry] thought that they could simply run away from their crimes. Today, with the help of our friends in Thai law enforcement, we once again showed that fraudsters cannot hide from the law," U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement issued Tuesday. 

In the same statement, the FBI called the scam "one of the largest international penny stock frauds and advance fee schemes in istory." 

Kanaphat said Winick was arrested in 2011 in Bangkok for a call center scam but escaped bail. 

Both men face extradition to the U.S. on an indictment in a New York court.