ASIC Drops Warning Message on ‘Pump and Dump’ Telegram Group
The group of 300 members was coordinating to inflate the prices of shares.
The Australian financial market regulator, ASIC, has infiltrated a Telegram group of investors earlier this week, posting a warning message that ‘coordinated pumping of shares can be illegal’.
This move by the Aussie regulator can be seen as a part of its latest move against the rampant pump-and-dump schemes.
“We can see all trades and have access to trader identities. We‘re monitoring this platform and we may be investigating you. You run the risk of a criminal record, including fines of more than $1M and prison time by being involved,” ASIC’s post stated.
The warning was not taken seriously at first by around 300 members of the Telegram group as ASICs account was newly created. However, the regulator later confirmed the authenticity of the warning to The Australian.
ASIC dropped the message after several coordinated posts on the group by the moderators about pumping the prices of some stocks. One of the group Telegram members also lashed out that they were doing nothing wrong and the regulator is wasting its resources on monitoring such a small social media group.
Vigilant against Market Manipulation
But, that was not the Australian watchdogs first move against pump-and-dump schemes.
Last month, it issued an official notice against the pump-and-dump campaigns carried out on social media. It even reiterated that such market manipulation can attract penalties of over AUD 1 million and up to 10 years jail term.
“ASIC has been working closely with market operators to identify and disrupt pump and dump campaigns, and we will continue to target actions that threaten the integrity of markets and to take enforcement action where appropriate. We expect anyone involved in these campaigns to recognize the potential impact on market integrity and to be aware ASIC monitors all trading on the ASX equity market on a real time basis,” said ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour.
“Market participants, as gatekeepers, should take active steps to identify and stop potential market misconduct. They should consider the circumstances of all orders that enter a market through their systems, and be aware of indicators of manipulative trading.”