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Arizona man faces federal prison in stock manipulation scheme related to SkyMall merger

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Posted at 8:07 AM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 11:07:54-04

PHOENIX — Former Scottsdale resident William "Lance" Mullins has been sentenced to a lengthy federal prison term and was ordered to repay $2.8 million in restitution to 125 former shareholders after pleading guilty to engaging in fraudulent transactions during the merger of two Valley businesses.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Diane J. Humetewa sentenced Mullins, 50, to 42 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Mullins had worked with Tempe-based Xhibit Corp., a publicly traded company that merged with airplane catalog business SkyMall in May 2013.

In 2012 just prior to the SkyMall merger, federal prosecutors alleged Mullins and others misrepresented the company to investors and broke federal laws by artificially inflating Xhibit’s stock price to make it falsely appear that there was more demand for the stock. The shares jumped from less than a dollar in early 2012 to more than $7 per share in May 2013, before it fell just as quickly.

Click here for the full story from the Phoenix Business Journal.