Cybersecurity, beneficial ownership lessons found in SEC fraud case


An international scheme in which hackers accessed dozens of online brokerage accounts to manipulate stock prices holds cybersecurity and beneficial ownership lessons for compliance professionals.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged 18 individuals Monday for allegedly participating in a scheme in which they hacked into retail investors’ brokerage accounts, forced those accounts to purchase large blocks of two microcap stocks, then sold their existing holdings of the same stocks at artificially inflated prices.

The alleged misconduct, which took place from 2015-18, involved two overlapping groups of individuals operating outside the United States and Canada but involving offshore accounts and exchanges in a dozen countries. The scheme generated approximately $1.3 million in illicit profits, the SEC said.

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