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SEC Charges: False Tweets Sent Two Stocks Reeling in Market Manipulation

Washington D.C., Nov. 5, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed securities fraud charges against a Scottish trader whose false tweets caused sharp drops in the stock prices of two companies and triggered a trading halt in one of them.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in the Northern District of California, James Alan Craig of Dunragit, Scotland, tweeted multiple false statements about the two companies on Twitter accounts that he deceptively created to look like the real Twitter accounts of well-known securities research firms.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California today filed criminal charges against Craig.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Craig’s first false tweets caused one company’s share price to fall 28 percent before Nasdaq temporarily halted trading. The next day, Craig’s false tweets about a different company caused a 16 percent decline in that company’s share price. On each occasion, Craig bought and sold shares of the target companies in a largely unsuccessful effort to profit from the sharp price...


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