The United States Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida charging twenty-one year old Aleksey Kamardin with participating in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate the prices of numerous stocks through the unauthorized use of other people’s online brokerage accounts.
The complaint alleges that between July 13 and August 25, 2006, Kamardin, or others acting in concert, commandeered the online trading accounts of unwitting investors at various broker-dealers, liquidated existing equity positions and, using the resulting proceeds, purchased thinly traded stocks in order to create the appearance of trading activity and pump up the price of the stocks. The complaint further alleges that in seventeen instances, Kamardin, in his own account, bought shares in the thinly traded issuer just prior to or at the same time that compromised accounts were made to buy shares, creating the false appearance of market activity. Shortly after the intrusions, Kamardin sold all of his shares at the inflated prices. In all but three of these instances, Kamardin realized a profit from his trading, netting a total profit of $82,960.
The Commission’s action charges Kamardin with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement and civil money penalties.
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Assistance has previously issued an investor alert, available on the SEC’s website, which provides tips for avoiding becoming a victim of an online intrusion. See http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/onlinebrokerage.htm.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the NASD in this matter.