A Florida federal jury convicted securities attorney James M. Schneider of 33 counts of securities fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering Dec. 7.

Schneider “authored false and fraudulent legal opinion letters” to support a a seven-year fraudulent shell factory scheme, the Justice Department said. He and his co-conspirators sold the shell companies’ shares for millions of dollars.

The opinion letters falsely indicated that shares in the shell companies weren’t owned by the companies’ affiliates, even though he knew his co-conspirators owned the shares, DOJ said. He also created fake billing records to make it look like he was...