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'Spam King' Eddy Marin gets 17 1/2 years in absentia

Ran the "pump and dump" fraud from federal prison in Miami

Eddy Marin is best known for helping Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein hide more than $1 million worth of jewelry. Now a fugitive from justice after going on the lam before sentencing for his latest offense, here are some of the jail booking photos of Marin from over the years.

Eddy Marin has been a fugitive from justice since July 23 when he was supposed to show up for a court hearing to explain why he had been caught using cocaine while he was free on bond and awaiting sentencing for securities fraud - but that didn’t stop the judge from sentencing him — in his absence — to 17½ years in federal prison.

Federal prosecutors said the “pump and dump” stock fraud, which operated from Broward County, made more than $1 million for Marin and his allies.

Eddy Ubaldo Marin has served three stints in prison – and he could be headed for a fourth – after being charged by federal prosecutors with running a $1 million “pump and dump” securities fraud scheme.
At least part of the scheme was conducted while Marin was serving time in federal prison in Miami, prosecutors allege.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said Marin, along with Shane R. Spierdowis, artificially inflated the value of shares in Sunrise-based Valentine Beauty (OTC: VLBI). They were charged by information, which usually means the defendants have agreed to settle the case.

Fort Lauderdale resident Marin, 56, arranged to secretly obtain a controlling interest in Valentine Beauty in November 2013 by issuing shares to Green Tree Capital, a company that Marin controlled, according to federal authorities. This was problematic because Marin was a convicted felon and his ownership was not disclosed to the public. 

Marin was sentenced to 57 months in prison after a 1990 trafficking conviction and sentenced to one year in 2000 for money laundering. In 2014, he was sentenced to 10 months in prison for obstruction of justice for secretly selling jewelry that belonged to Kim Rothstein, the wife of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein. 

In 2013, Marin was one of six people charged by prosecutors in Broward County with running a $3 million RICO fraud scheme involving stocks. While serving his time in federal prison in Miami in 2014, Marin was visited multiple times by Boca Raton resident Spierdowis, 27, and the men coordinated the sale of Valentine Beauty stock, according to prosecutors. 

Starting in late 2013, Marin transferred the shares of Valentine Beauty to Spierdowis and other co-conspirators, prosecutors allege. Spierdowis would sell shares of Valentine Beauty with one company while sending out marketing newsletters and email marketing with a separate company in an effort to inflate its stock price, according to prosecutors.

After Marin was released from prison in April 2015, Marin and Spierdowis were planning to conduct a reverse merger of Valentine Beauty and change its name, prosecutors allege. The SEC suspended trading of Valentine Beauty shares in April 2016.

The SEC recently filed a civil action against Marin and Spierdowis regarding the alleged “pump and dump” scheme.

The federal information said Marin approached the CEO of Valentine Beauty in November 2013 with this proposed method of raising capital for the company. The CEO was not charged. The company sells beauty supplies.

If the FBI finds him, Marin will have to start serving the hefty prison term. He also will likely face a bond-jumping charge that could add another 10 years to his punishment.

Marin, 56, of Fort Lauderdale, had already pleaded guilty to the fraud case, and U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles had scheduled his sentencing. But Marin disappeared on the day he was summoned for a hearing to revoke his $100,000 bond because the cocaine usage violated the terms of his release.

His partner, the mother of his youngest son, told FBI agents that she last saw him when she dropped him off at a Fort Lauderdale building on July 23, hours before the Miami court hearing. When he didn’t come home, she said she assumed he had been taken into custody in court.

Marin has been in and out of prison for much of his adult life. His most recent stint, in 2015, was 10 months for conspiring to obstruct justice when he helped to hide more than $1 million worth of Ponzi schemer Rothstein’s jewelry from the feds.

The former boxing promoter was dubbed the “King of Spammers” more than a decade ago when experts said he sent out 250 million unsolicited emails a day from his Boca Raton office.

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