U.S. authorities have charged a man from Athens, Greece for allegedly selling inside information to traders in underground online markets.
In complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. attorney’s office charged Apostolos Trovias in connection with a scheme to sell purported “insider trading tips” in anonymous online forums.
Starting in 2016, and according to U.S. authorities, Trovias used the pseudonym “TheBull” and sold purported inside information on dark web marketplaces — including information about a brokerage firm’s order book data and forthcoming earnings reports.
The tips were sold through one-time sales as well as via weekly or monthly subscriptions.
“Trovias allegedly sold over 100 subscriptions to investors via the dark web over the course of the scheme,” the SEC said in a release.
Trovias was charged with one count of securities fraud and one count of money laundering, though the allegations have not been proven.
“Behind the veil of the dark web, using encrypted messaging applications and emails, Trovias created a business model in which he sold — for profit — proprietary information from other companies, stock trading tips, pre-release earnings, and other inside information, as we allege,” said FBI assistant director, William Sweeney Jr., in a release.
“The FBI operates within the dark web too, and as Trovias learned today, we don’t stop enforcing the law just because you commit federal crimes from behind a router with your keyboard,” he added.