The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week filed fraud charges against an individual alleged to have attempted to manipulate the stock price of Fitbit by filing a phony regulatory filing.
The SEC’s complaint names Robert W. Murray as the individual who purchased Fitbit call options just minutes prior to his filing of a phony tender offer on the SEC EDGAR database, which claimed that ABM Capital Ltd sought to acquire at a premium Fitbit’s outstanding shares. Fitbit’s stock price jumped when the news of the fake tender offer became public through the EDGAR filing, and Murray sold the entirety of his options position for a whopping profit of $3,100.00. (That’s right, just over three thousand dollars).
According to the SEC, Murray opened an email account in another’s name and used it to access EDGAR. Murray then, per the SEC, listed that individual as the Chief Executive Officer of AMB Capital. The SEC further alleged that Murray attempted to evade detection through the concealment of his identity and location at the time he submitted the phony filing to EDGAR, after having researched how the SEC in prior enforcement actions identified false filers through the use of their IP addresses.
In a parallel proceeding, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed criminal charges against Murray.
And to think that he risked it all — reputation and liberty — for just a little over three thousand bucks. I’m still scratching my head on this one.
David Chase is a SEC defense attorney and former SEC Prosecutor who represents and defends those around the world who are being investigated or prosecuted for insider trading in SEC investigations or insider trading criminal cases. Mr. Chase is the principal of the Law Firm of David R. Chase, a SEC law firm, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For a confidential consultation, you may contact Mr. Chase at: firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at: (800) 760-0912. The law firm’s website is: securitiesfrauddefense.net.