James Alan Craig is no retired Croatian underwear seamstress but the most recent developments in his "false tweets" case are starting to remind me a bit of the Sonja Anticevic saga from back in 2005.
(James Alan Craig)
As I discussed here, both the SEC and DOJ filed charges against Craig, age 62, last week for allegedly using "false tweets" to cause the stock prices of two companies to plunge. Craig's whereabouts and whether he had retained counsel were reportedly unknown last week, but over the weekend The Scotsman reportedly tracked him down at his home in Dunragit, Scotland. According to The Scotsman, Craig said he does not invest in the stock market, saying he "never had an interest in it."
Craig also stated that he had no clue that he was the subject of any type of inquiry until he saw TV cameras show up at his house:
I have never been approached by any law enforcement agency telling me I am subject of any investigation. Of course I deny it.
“The first I knew of it, in all honesty, was when the TV camera turned up this morning and I thought ‘What’s happened here?’ Somebody texted me about two minutes later.
“No law enforcement agency has ever come to me. Nobody has interviewed me. Not even the local law enforcement have come to tell me about this.”
He challenged US authorities to contact him directly, “instead of making allegations over the airwaves.”
I have no idea whether the 62-year-old Craig is responsible for the "false tweets" as alleged, but his flat-out "what-are-you-talking-about-I have-no-interest-in-the-stock-market-and-have-not-heard-from-any-authorities" denial is starting to remind me of Sonja Anticevic.
As you may vaguely recall, the SEC charged Anticevic, a retired Croatian underwear seamstress, with insider trading back in 2005. As I wrote back in 2010,
Anticevic lives in the city of Omis on a monthly pension of 1,600 kuna ($263). Four years ago, her life was turned upside down when reporters from the Associated Press appeared at her door (see photo above) to ask her why, according to the SEC, $130,000 worth of speculative, out-of-the-money Reebok call options were purchased in an account in her name and then quickly sold off at a profit of over $2 million when it was announced that Reebok would be acquired by Adidas. Anticevic told reporters she had “never bought a stock and I have no idea how that works. Leave me alone, please. I’m in shock.”
It ultimately turned out that Anticevic’s 25-year-old nephew, Pajcin, a former analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York, had helped orchestrated the trading and a whole lot more, ultimately making millions from insider trading and earning a spot on the Securities Docket Mount Rushmore of Securities Fraud.
Stay tuned, and perhaps we shall see whether there is any more to the Craig story, as well!