Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SEC: Hacker Manipulated Stock Prices

Via -

U.S. regulators are moving to freeze the assets and trading accounts of a Russian accused of hacking into personal online portfolios and manipulating the price of dozens of stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market and New York Stock Exchange.

A New York federal judge on Tuesday sided with the Securities and Exchange Commission and froze the assets of Broco Investments, believed to be a one-trader operation based in St. Petersburg, Russia. The SEC said Broco capitalized by artificially moving prices of more 38 thinly traded securities — enabling Broco to profit from up-or-down price swings.

“These transactions have created the appearance of legitimate trading activity and have artificially affected the prices of at least 38 issuers,” (.pdf) the Securities and Exchange Commission said in court filing.

The so-called “hack, pump and dump” scheme is among the latest illicit methods of gaming the market though hacking.


Broco grossed $141,500 in approximately 15 minutes,” the SEC said.

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