Federal prosecutors have charged Barry Minkow, a former Ponzi scheme swindler turned fraud investigator, with conspiracy to commit securities fraud by disseminating false information in 2009 about homebuilder Lennar Corp., according to court documents filed Thursday in Miami federal court.

The complaint charges that Minkow, along with a person identified as Conspirator A and others, conspired to "artificially manipulate and depress Lennar's stock" in an effort to pressure the builder to pay money allegedly owed to Conspirator A. The charge against Minkow comes with a maximum prison term of five years. Minkow's lawyer said his client plans to plead guilty next week to the charge.

According to several people familiar with the investigation of the U.S. attorney's office of the Southern District of Florida, Conspirator A is Nicolas Marsch, a California real estate developer who has sued Lennar over losses related to a soured real estate deal in Southern California.

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