US Authorities Charge Three Indian Nationals in Stock Manipulation Scheme
The US authorities have charged three Indian nationals for a highly structured pump-and-dump scam that used hijacked brokerage accounts to manipulate the prices of 14 securities including Sun Microsystems and Google. The men were charged in a 23-count indictment for conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and computer fraud. In addition to it, they were also sued in civil court in connection with the alleged conspiracy.
The three Indian accused are Jaisankar Marimuthu, 32, Thirugnanam Ramanathan, 34, and Chockalingam Ramanathan, 33 who are charged and sued. Two of the suspects have already been detained, Jaisankar Marimuthu of Chennai, and Thirugnanam Ramanathan in Hong Kong. While Chennai based Chockalingam Ramanathan is still at large.
Federal prosecutors have said that the three accused bought stocks and options, then hijacked online accounts to purchase the same securities and drive up the prices. At least 60 customers and nine brokerages were reported to become victims, including TD Ameritrade Holding Corp and E Trade Financial Corp. The prosecutor has said that one firm lost more than $2 million.
Moreover, this case is just one of several recent examples of electronic intrusion in which hackers take advantage of technological loopholes to make unlawful purchases and sales of stock and option. The US authorities are in process to extradite Jaisankar Marimuthu and Thirugnanam Ramanathan to Omaha, where a federal grand jury has accused them under seal on charges of conspiracy, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft in January.
Posted by: Balendu Source