The FBI announced on Tuesday that it has arrested four men in a pump-and-dump scheme that authorities reportedly also believe may be related to the massive customer data hack that occurred last summer at JPMorgan. As previously discussed here, the FBI stated in August 2014 that it was investigating a possible "significant breach of corporate computer security" at JPMorgan and up to four other banks. In October 2014, JPMorgan disclosed in a Form 8-K filing that the cyber attack against it had compromised customer contact data (including names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses) for approximately 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.
The NYT reports that the four men were arrested "in connection with a series of fraudulent investment schemes involving penny stocks and Bitcoin that spanned the globe, from Florida to New York to Israel to Cyprus and Russia." To date, none of the men arrested have been charged with the JPMorgan data breach and theft. The NYT reports, however, that authorities believe that the defendants intended to use the email addresses stolen from JPMorgan hacking to further their pump-and-dump scheme involving worthless stocks.
The SEC filed its own lawsuit against three of the four men on Tuesday alleging that they "defrauded investors by disseminating promotional e-mails exhorting readers to immediately buy purportedly hot stocks so they could secretly sell their own holdings at a substantial profit." The SEC alleges that the men made at least $2.8 million in illicit proceeds.