Short-seller and flamboyant Internet message board poster Anthony Elgindy was sentenced Monday by a Texas judge to a $20,000 fine and four months in a federal prison for felony mail fraud.
Elgindy, a former
market maker and broker who's well known for his Internet postings critical of various publicly traded companies, also must spend four months in a work-release-type house confinement and three years on probation after finishing his prison term.
U.S. District Court Judge Terry Means, of the
Northern District of Texas
, ordered Elgindy to report to a federal detention facility on June 11. He rejected Elgindy's request for a lesser sentence of probation.
"I think it's fair because the judge said it's fair," Elgindy, 32, said in a phone conversation Tuesday.
Elgindy pleaded guilty to the mail fraud charge in February, after he was charged in a nine-count insurance fraud indictment. (
about his plea in February.)
The indictment had alleged that Elgindy received compensation from securities firms while he was also fraudulently receiving disability benefits from an insurance company. The mail fraud charge stemmed from the method of delivery for the disability checks.
"I have no hard feelings whatsoever toward the prosecutor. I have no hard feelings whatsoever toward the judge," said Elgindy, who lives in San Diego.
David Jarvis, an assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Elgindy's case, said he was satisfied with the judge's ruling Monday.
"That sentence is the minimum that the judge had to give him," Jarvis said. "He wasn't the transformed man that they made him out to be."
Elgindy, who posts messages about companies under the alias
message boards and maintains a
, said he doesn't know if he'll be able to continue posting messages from prison. "I don't know if there's Internet access or not," he said.
In a posting on Silicon Investor early Tuesday, he bid his readers a temporary
Elgindy also said he didn't know if he'd return to posting messages about companies on message boards after he is released. But he said there's some value to his opinions about fraudulent activities in business because he's able to "use my own knowledge of how these scumbags work, because I used to be a scumbag."
"I'm stuck in this role of bad guy who exposes bad guys," he added. But, "I'm just a young guy trying to earn an honest living."