Former Bellevue attorney gets 13 months for stock fraud scheme

A former Bellevue attorney was sentenced Tuesday to 13 months in prison for his role in a stock fraud scheme.

Tolan Furusho, 39, pled guilty in November 2007 to securities fraud and two counts of failure to file income tax returns.

On top of 13 months in prison, he was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and $39,615 in restitution.

Furusho was involved in a scheme that deceived investors in order to boost the stock prices of publicly traded companies that some of the conspirators had acquired.

Furusho provided opinion letters that allowed the schemers to sell their shares of stock immediately rather than having to wait two years as would have otherwise been required by SEC regulations.

"Without Mr. Furusho, (the conspirators) could not have continued their fraud," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lord said in a release. "Their 'get-rich-quick' scheme would have been frustrated."

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones told Furusho that he had "violated every aspect of trust" as a gatekeeper to the financial marketplace.

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