US SEC Dismantles $194 Million Global Pump and Dump Scheme


  The scheme covered three continents.

  The defendants are accused of participating in multi-year fraudulent penny stock schemes.

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  According to the press release, the people allegedly involved in the pump and dump plots are based in the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Monaco, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

  According to the SEC's complaints filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, all defendants violated federal securities laws related to anti-fraud and registration. Several defendants are accused in separate complaints of playing a variety of roles in accumulating shares in penny stocks via offshore nominee companies that are difficult to uncover.

  Scheme Background

  Additionally, several defendants are alleged to have used encrypted text messages and phone applications in order to avoid detection by regulators and to purchase penny stocks from multiple offshore accounts to further the fraud.

  “We allege that the defendants in these actions orchestrated some of the most complex microcap stock fraud schemes ever charged by the SEC. By locating their operations overseas, using encrypted messaging, and operating through a convoluted network of offshore accounts, the defendants hoped to avoid detection of the massive frauds we allege they perpetrated on US markets and investors. However, investigative teams from three SEC offices doggedly kept on their trail, working across borders, and ended this alleged global scheme,” Gurbir S. Grewal, the Director of the SECs Division of Enforcement, commented.

  Some of the defendants, once some of them had accumulated a significant majority of the shares of the stocks, secretly funded promotional campaigns to market the stocks to unsuspecting investors in the United States and abroad, as alleged in the complaint. According to the allegations, when those campaigns triggered an increase in demand for and prices of the stocks, some defendants sold the stocks on trading platforms in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean to make significant profits.


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