A Cherry Hill stockbroker pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Camden for his part in a stock-fraud and money-laundering scheme that pilfered $15 million from investors.
Thomas S. King, 48, pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts and one count of failing to file an income-tax return. Sentencing was scheduled for May 25.
One of the conspiracy counts carries a 20-year maximum, but King likely will be sentenced to far less under federal sentencing guidelines.
King and other brokers gained control of more than 100 million shares of a penny stock sold on the over-the-counter electronic bulletin board system, an interdealer system for stocks not listed on national securities exchanges, authorities said.
They sold the shares to investors without their knowledge over a five-year span from 1996 to 2001, then laundered the money through an account in Denver. King agreed to forfeit his proceeds from the scheme - $53,495, money he used as a down payment on a home - prosecutors said.
Five people were indicted in the case in October 2005. One other defendant, a Florida man, has pleaded guilty.
King's brokerage account was listed in the name of a corporation controlled by codefendant Robert P. Gordon of St. Petersburg, Fla. Gordon also was the founder of two companies, TeleServices Internet Group and Phoenix Information Systems.
Several of the defendants controlled offshore companies that purported to do consulting work for TeleServices. Gordon paid those companies in TeleServices stock, prosecutors said.
The stock was then sold through brokers, including King, to unwitting investors. King admitted he was secretly compensated in cash and stock for doing so.