Published: Sep 13, 2010 4:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 13, 2010 1:59 PM EDT

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware federal judge has sentenced a Florida man to three years in prison for his role in a penny stock fraud and money-laundering scheme.

District Judge Sue L. Robinson also ordered 39-year-old Gerard D'Amaro of Lighthouse Point, Fla., to forfeit $1.49 million last week.

Prosecutors say D'Amaro promoted stocks in a complicated "pump and dump" scheme in which people conspired to artificially inflate a stock price and then sell it. The prosecution, involving at least six men and more than $6 million in illegal proceeds, is thought to be the first of its kind in Delaware.

Court papers show D'Amaro asked for probation or home confinement so he could care for his ailing wife. Prosecutors opposed the request, saying D'Amaro could engage in investor fraud by phone or computer.