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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

10 Emigres Fingered in Stock Scam

NEW YORK -- In the latest move against Russian emigres involved in securities markets, New York's Attorney General said Tuesday he has obtained a temporary order stopping a group of Russian nationals from selling shares in a coffee bean business.

New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco said a Manhattan judge issued the preliminary restraining order against 10 Russian nationals from selling stock in Stella Bella Corp., a low-priced stock trading in the over-the-counter market.

The order, which was issued Friday, came several days after the Manhattan District Attorney announced the arrest of more than 50 stockbrokers, some of whom were Russian, in a scheme in which impostors were hired to take licensing tests.

In Tuesday's announcement, Vacco alleged that the Russian nationals were running an illegal telemarketing campaign aimed at cheating hundreds of senior citizens. He said the men sold the stock through a New York City-based company called Z3 Capital Corp. The agents were unregistered, untrained and unsupervised, he said.

Vacco said in a statement that the agents contacted investors through unsolicited phone calls and then used high-pressure sales techniques and false information to lure them into buying the stock. Most of the investors were seniors living on fixed incomes.

While many investors purchased Stella Bella stock for around $1, it is now trading at about 23 cents per share, Vacco said.

Investors were allegedly falsely told that the company's stock price would triple in months, that they could purchase the securities below market price and that President Bill Clinton's brother-in-law was to be an integral part of Stella Bella.

The victims were also allegedly told that if the investments went bad, all their money would be returned. o maintain its empire. Another is one of gradual decay, in which the empire ceased to be effective and Moscow gave up its powers one by one, paying for the privilege of maintaining an empire it demonstrably could not afford. That process had already begun.

Many Russians would answer that no result could have been worse than the penury they face now. But that is not so; war is far worse.

But in truth, it should not be their decision to make in any case. Nobody feels sorry for the wounded pride or economic losses suffered by the British or French when they lost their empires -- their former vassals had every right to be free and decide their fates. And so did the Balts, the Moldovans, the Armenians and the rest.