MINNEAPOLIS – Two men have entered guilty pleas to securities fraud charges in connection to their illegal pump-and-dump stock manipulation scheme.

According to their guilty pleas, 44-year-old Mark Miller, of Breezy Point, and 36-year-old Christopher Rajkaran, of Queens, New York, and Guyana, participated in a scheme to hijack and assume control over dormant public shell companies.

The defendants used their control over the companies to fraudulently manipulate and pump up the price of the companies' stock so that they could profit from the sale of stock to unwitting investors.

The defendants carried out their scheme by obtaining hundreds of thousands or even millions of shares of stock in dormant public shell companies that traded over-the-counter at low prices, often for less than a fraction of a penny per share.

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The defendants then sold or “dumped” their stock at fraudulently inflated prices.

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