TALLAHASSEE — Longtime Hillsboro Beach attorney James M. Schneider, sentenced in February for his alleged role in a "pump-and-dump" securities fraud scheme, has been disbarred following a March 7 Florida Supreme Court order, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
Schneider's disbarment will be effective April 6, according to the state bar's March 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order.
Schneider was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 11, 1976, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Schneider's state bar profile.
In October 2017, Schneider, then 76, was charged for his alleged part in a nationwide scheme to sell stock in shell companies, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release at the time. In its complaint filed against Schneider in U.S. District Court for Florida's Southern District, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Schneider of violating antifraud and registration provisions of federal securities laws.
"In March 2018, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a superseding 35-count indictment charging Schneider with, among other offenses, conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering," the state bar's announcement said.
In December 2018 a federal jury convicted Schneider of 33 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, according to a DOJ news release.
Schneider could have faced a maximum statutory sentence of 25 years for securities fraud, 25 years for each securities and wire fraud count and 10 years for each conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering count.
Schneider was sentenced in February to 84 months in prison and ordered to pay $19.7 million in restitution to 2,156 investors, according to a Justice Department news release issued the day he was sentenced.
Schneider, now 78, currently is being held at the federal minimum security prison camp in Pensacola, according to an online Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate search. His current release date is scheduled Jan. 10, 2025.