Key Player In $19M Stock Fraud Scheme Dies In I-95 Crash

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — A key player in a stock fraud scheme that cheated about 12,000 investors out of $19 million has died in a car crash on I-95 in Greenwich.

Christian Meissenn, 49, of Suffield was convicted in 2018 of conspiring with others to defraud investors, many of them retirees, through a stock “pump and dump” scheme that ran from 2009 until 2016.

State Police said Meissenn was driving his vintage Lincoln Town Car when the fatal crash occurred on Aug. 16, the Hartford Courant reported.

Meissenn had received a relatively short prison sentence of three months. Federal prosecutors said it was based in part on his serious health condition. He was also sentenced to serve three years of probation in home confinement.

Authorities said Meissenn and his co-conspirators induced investors to purchase securities by making false and misleading representations, causing the price of those securities to become falsely inflated. The issuing companies were mostly shell corporations.

After selling their own shares at a profit, the conspirators allowed the price of the securities to fall, leaving investors with worthless stock.