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October 30, 2017

Posted  November 28, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Joseph P. Willner with participating in a scheme to access the brokerage accounts of more than 100 unwitting victims and make unauthorized trades to artificially affect the stock prices of various companies. The SEC alleges that Willner generated at least $700,000 in illicit profits by trading in the same securities in his own accounts and taking advantage of the artificial stock prices that resulted from the unauthorized trades placed in the victims’ accounts. Willner’s activities were detected despite his efforts to disguise his real identity while communicating with at least one other individual through online direct messaging applications using a pseudonym, according to the SEC’s complaint.  “Legal trading too hard” is among the online messages noted in the SEC’s complaint.  To mask his payments to the other individual as part of a profit-sharing arrangement, Willner allegedly transferred proceeds of profitable trades to a digital currency company that converts U.S. dollars to Bitcoin and then transmitted the bitcoins as payment. SEC

Tagged in: Cryptocurrency, Misrepresentations, Regulatory Violations, Securities Fraud,