Federal authorities arrested 14 people Wednesday for stock price manipulation, including Joey Davis, 46, of Los Feliz.
Davis is believed to have helped inflate stock prices through his Scripted Consulting Group, a public relations firm in Los Angeles.
Ringleaders Ari Kaplan, 40, of Venice, along with his uncle Sherman Mazur, 63, of Westwood, are charged with fraudulently inflating stock prices and then selling shares at those exaggerated prices to the general public, netting a substantial profit.
Court documents maintain that the defendants executed several deceptive deals per year, each generating several millions of dollars.
According to the documents, they often worked in conjunction with company management and CEOs.
They targeted several industries including the pharmaceutical, green tech, oil and gas development and e-commerce.
Davis, a publicist, is alleged to have taken part in the scheme while free on bond in another criminal case filed in federal court.
The arrests made Wednesday were part of two indictments issued by the Justice Department.
Each indictment focusses on a large-scale scheme.
It is estimated that combined they may have cost 20,00 investors lost more than $30 million dollars.
Each of the defendants could face maximum penalties of at least 100 years if convicted and some of the defendants, including Mazur, could face life in prison.