- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A 44-year-old Bozeman man has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution for a penny stock manipulation scheme.

Federal prosecutors say Matthew Carley and others engaged in manipulative trading practices and a publicity campaign in 2009 to cause the shares of Ashburn, Virginia-based Red Branch Technologies to increase from near zero to 17 cents a share over a three-month period. Carley’s gains from selling his stock at inflated prices was nearly $790,000.

Carley pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He was sentenced on April 3 by U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton in Virginia. Hilton also ordered Carley to forfeit his proceeds from the scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said the company had no real business operations.

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