Penny-Stock Lawyer Nears Day of Reckoning
Shortly after the ruling, Prousalis changed his plea to guilty. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
Prousalis is negotiating to settle a separate civil case brought by the SEC. After his guilty plea on the criminal charges, Prousalis has little chance of winning against the SEC, securities lawyers say. Standards of proof in civil cases are lower than in criminal cases, and the criminal conviction can be used as evidence against him in the civil case.
Prousalis also faces the loss of his license to practice law. Under District of Columbia Bar Association rules, disbarment is all but automatic for lawyers convicted of crimes such as fraud.
Prousalis did not wish to comment for this column, said the two lawyers who represent him, Alvin E. Entin of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and David E. Kenner of Encino, Calif.
What became of the four local companies?
Octagon, originally an environmental consulting firm, closed in 1997 after being caught up in what turned out to be a multinational swindle to sell satellite telephones to Iran. Its stock, which once traded for $14 a share, was trading for 3 cents when it was delisted that year.
E-Net, which promoted telephone service on the Internet, changed its name to ZeroPlus Inc. and filed for liquidation in bankruptcy in February 2002. The stock peaked at $19 a share but was down to 3 cents when trading was suspended by Nasdaq in June 2001.
MVSI, once in the "robotic vision" business, became a computer consulting firm called Socrates Technologies Corp. It filed for liquidation in bankruptcy in October 2001. The stock, once worth as much as $9 a share, was delisted in 2001.
Czech Industries, organized to do business in the Czech Republic, changed its name to Eastbrokers International Inc. and then to Global Capital Partners Inc. Global's stock brokerage withdrew its registration as a broker in 2001. The stock, once worth as much as $43 a share, adjusted for splits, still trades occasionally and was last quoted by Blooomberg at o.6 cents. There is no phone listing for the company in Charlotte, its last known location. The Internet address once used by Global Capital now leads to a sex-oriented Web site.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company