Self-proclaimed “stock trading whiz kid” Manuel E. Jesus and his stock newsletter company Wealthpire Inc. will pay nearly $1.5 million to settle charges they defrauded subscribers through false statements and misrepresentations. According to the SEC’s complaint, Jesus and his newsletter company used advertising materials and websites touting Jesus as “the untutored prodigy of stock investing” under the alias Manny Backus. He boasted of a “skyscraping” IQ and claimed to have made millions of dollars before “deciding to help other investors” by starting an alert service that let traders copy his every trading move. But according to SEC allegations, from at least January 2012 through September 2014, Backus was not trading in the same stocks recommended by his services as he claimed. In addition, he wasn’t the one making all the recommendations. For instance, the SEC alleges that Robert C. Joiner was paid by Wealthpire to make all of the stock picks for one alert service without any guidance from Backus on how to choose them. SEC
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