SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Meyer Blinder, who operated a huge penny-stock scheme that took him "from rags to riches to rags," died Thursday in Denver. He was 82.
He had Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Blinder, who headed Blinder, Robinson & Co., once the nation's largest penny-stock firm, was sentenced to 46 months in prison in 1992 for racketeering and securities fraud.
He had amassed a fortune worth more than $100 million during the 1980s, but his company collapsed in bankruptcy in 1990 and he emerged from prison nearly broke. He consistently maintained he was not guilty.
Mr. Blinder, a World War II veteran who grew up in poverty in Brooklyn, N. Y., built his company on trading stock in businesses with no assets or business plans. Some investors felt they had been misled into investments that had no chance of succeeding.
In many cases, Mr. Blinder's and others' penny-stock firms profited from spreads of more than 100 percent on the stocks.