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Man pleads guilty to tax evasion in connection with diamond mine scheme

A Florida man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to evading taxes on hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of stock in a much-scrutinized diamond company.

Marco Glisson, 58, a former auto worker who once lived in Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to sell and offer unregistered securities.

He is to be sentenced July 10.

Glisson was accused of hiding more than $664,000 in income from the Internal Revenue Service for the tax years 2006 and 2007. The money was from the sale of $1.8 million in unregistered stock in CMKM Diamonds, a Las Vegas-based company investigated by federal authorities on several fronts.

CMKM executives were among those indicted by a federal grand jury here in September 2009 in an alleged scheme to defraud investors out of $60 million in unregistered company stock. The case is set for trial in October.

“Although CMKM Diamonds purported to be a diamond mining company, the company did not actually engage in any substantial mining activities, nor any economically viable business of any kind,” IRS Agent Bret Kressin wrote in a criminal complaint. “In reality CMKM Diamonds was a publicly traded corporate shell used to perpetuate a massive pump-and-dump securities fraud scheme…

“As part of the scheme, the perpetrators fraudulently issued more than 700 billion unregistered shares of CMKM stock.”

Glisson, once an assembly line worker at a General Motors plant in Wisconsin, was not charged in the CMKM fraud case. But he faced civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, accused of continuing to sell the company’s stock after the federal agency had de-registered it in 2005.

On the eve of his trial in Las Vegas in April 2012, Glisson struck a deal to pay the SEC $4.8 million to settle the case against him. Without admitting or denying guilt, the deal called for Glisson to pay $2.8 million in profits from trading the stock, $670,000 in interest and a $1.4 million civil penalty.

The SEC contended Glisson, who made himself known through Internet chat rooms, became a national clearinghouse for CMKM stock, setting the buying and selling prices. In one 15-month period, he is alleged to have unlawfully generated $4.4 million in revenues.

Contact reporter Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135.

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