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SEC flexes muscles against man who faked Fitbit news

Joe Mont | May 22, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed fraud charges against a Virginia-based mechanical engineer it accuses of scheming to manipulate the price of Fitbit stock with a phony regulatory filing.

According to the SEC’s May 18 complaint, Robert W. Murray purchased Fitbit call options minutes before a fake tender offer that he orchestrated was filed on the SEC’s EDGAR system. That filing purported to be a company named ABM Capital LTD that was acquiring Fitbit’s outstanding shares at a substantial premium.  It was all a sham.

Fitbit’s stock price temporarily spiked when the tender offer became publicly available on Nov. 10, 2016. Murray sold all of his options for a profit of approximately $3,100.

The SEC alleges that Murray created an email account under the name of someone he found on the Internet, and the e-mail account was used to gain access to the EDGAR system. He then... To get the full story, subscribe now.