Monday, October 26, 2009

SEC Charges Broker for Manipulation Using Internet

Once again, the SEC is moving quickly. It is a welcome change, as they have always been known for closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

Only three weeks after an alleged fraud began, the SEC charged a securities broker with securities fraud for repeatedly creating and then distributing fake press releases to manipulate the stock prices of multiple publicly traded companies.

The SEC alleges that the broker created press releases, including one that claimed that Google was buying the target company. He then  posed as an investor on Internet message boards, touting the announcements he had fabricated. In one instance, his scheme caused the stock price to increase by nearly 80 percent within a few hours of the issuance of his phony press release.

Moving a stock 80% on an Internet posting is pretty amazing, and raises another question. Just how greedy, and gullible, are some investors? Someone posts news in an Internet forum, linking to a press release, and they buy the stock?

Investing is not that easy. There is due diligence that needs to be performed, and analysis that needs to be done. That is why investors use financial advisers, and not Internet investment forums, to make investment decisions.


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