Moez Hedri sold cars in Ohio, Colorado and at Orange County’s Capistrano Mazda before he responded to an early 2016 Craigslist ad seeking telemarketers in Santa Ana not far from South Coast Plaza.
Hendri, a Tunisia native who came to the U.S. in 2001, was promised he could make much more money selling penny stocks if he participated in a swindling operation that prompted him to create a company, 7 SEAZ Inc., to help funnel profits.
And it’s true that in a five-month period ending in May 2017 his co-conspirators deposited nearly $633,000 into his corporate account at a Bank of America in San Clemente.
But the FBI began investigating and discovered that clients across the nation had been duped by deceitful, high-pressure telephone call pitches without knowing the conspirators were secretly manipulating the stock prices.
Individuals who shared the same office building with the conspirators told FBI agents they saw “a lot of coming and going, profanity and cigarette and marijuana smoking” and “like in the movie Wolf of Wall Street there was a mass exodus at 1 p.m. when the market closed,” according to court records.
Because U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna blocked a huge portion of the case from public view it’s not known what federal prosecutors sought as punishment for Hedri, who was born in 1975.
But this month, Selna closed his courtroom, sealed all sentencing briefs and gave the defendant a punishment of zero prison time.
Instead Hedri will serve probation for two years, a period he is banned from engaging in telemarketing activities.
In January, Midland Funding LLC filed a debt collection lawsuit against him in Orange County Superior Court.
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; earned six dozen other reporting awards; and been hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.