On 6th September, 2000 the SEC issued a press release accusing 33 companies and individuals of fraudulently using the Internet to make more than 10m in illegal profits by driving up the prices of more than 70 small stocks. The companies and individuals, including a bus mechanic, a car service driver and a selfchilling can company, boosted the total market value of these stocks by 1.7bn, claimed the SEC, in announcing 11 civil fraud lawsuits filed in federal courts. What used to require a network of professional promoters and brokers, banks of telephones and months to accomplish can now be done in minutes by a single person using the Internet and a home computer, SEC enforcement director Richard H. Walker said. Two weeks later, the SEC announced that it had settled an enforcement proceeding brought against a 15yearold stock trader who, operating from a computer in a bedroom in his parents' home, had earned more than 270,000 in profits over a sixmonth period by engaging in classic pump and dump market manipulation of small overthecounter stocks.
Journal of Financial Crime – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2001