- COLTS NECK, NJ
- Two Internet stock promoters found shot to death in a New Jersey mansion
had served as government informants, providing information on securities
fraud cases, according to published reports today.
- Alain Chalem and Maier Lehmann were crippled by gunfire
and then shot point-blank in their heads, investigators said. Their bodies
were found early Tuesday in the opulent estate Chalem shared with his girlfriend.
- Regulatory and law enforcement sources said they were
uncertain whether the information the men provided in the securities investigations
was damaging enough to provoke the shootings, The New York Times reported
- Lehmann had cooperated with authorities following a plea
agreement stemming from a 1992 insurance fraud case, The Star-Ledger of
Newark reported today. <snip Chalem, 41, and Lehmann, 37, were not registered
brokers. They promoted certain stocks on their Web site, which is registered
in Panama and operated by an administrator in Hungary, regulators said.
- Detectives from the prosecutor's office, as well as FBI
agents and SEC investigators, are trying to unravel the complex web of
stock deals the two were involved in, said prosecutor Robert Honecker.
- One theory they are checking is that the men were killed
by "somebody who did not like the fact that they may have lost money"
doing business with them, Honecker said.
- County authorities also said they are investigating possible
organized-crime links to the slayings. <snip Between 1994 and 1996,
Chalem worked at the brokerage A.S. Goldmen and Co., which was indicted
in July in New York on charges connected with stock manipulation, forgery
and illegal trading. The firm has denied the accusations, and Chalem was
not named in those charges.
- People involved in the continuing investigation of Goldmen
said Chalem had provided information in the case, the Times reported.