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A Scotts Valley man who defrauded investors through a medical-technology-financing scheme has been sentenced to four months in custody.

Jason Nielsen, a man in his late 40s who pleaded guilty earlier this year, also received three years of supervised release and a $50,000 fine, Oct. 24, in a San Jose federal courtroom.

Nielsen was charged with a single count of securities fraud for using deceptive and manipulative tactics to convince potential buyers to purchase stock in Arrayit, a Sunnyvale-based biotech company.

This follows the September conviction of Arrayit president Mark Schena, 59, of Los Altos, in connection with submitting of over $77 million in false and fraudulent claims for Covid-19 and allergy testing.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Nielsen, a large investor in Arrayit, posted false information about the company, such as the nature of his own investment, in order to coax others to buy-in.

Meanwhile, Nielsen was secretly selling his shares at an inflated price.

“The purpose of the scheme was for Nielsen to enrich himself at the expense of other investors,” a DoJ spokesperson said in a release.

Nielsen pleaded guilty on June 9. In addition to the 120 days behind bars and the five-figure fine, he was also hit with a $100 special assessment penalty.

A restitution hearing is set for Jan. 23, at 2pm.

Justice Department officials say those affected by Nielsen’s harmful dealings can submit a Victim Impact Statement or a letter to the court by contacting the Victim Witness Unit, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530, or via email at [email protected].

The DoJ did not respond to a request for an interview.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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