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21 Tuesday

Belize Firm Accused Of Online Brokerage Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday charged a Belize corporation located in Estonia and the company's owner, Evgeny Gashichev, with conducting a fraudulent scheme that targeted online brokerage accounts in the United States to manipulate the price of stocks.
     The SEC said Gashichev used other people's online brokerage accounts without authorization to commit the crime. The commission obtained an emergency asset freeze against the company from a U.S. district court in New York.
     According to the SEC, Grand Logistic and Gashichev made $353,609 in unlawful profits through at least 25 separate manipulations between Aug. 28 and Oct. 13. The case involves the securities of at least 21 companies.
     The SEC said Gashichev purchased shares of small, thinly traded companies with low share prices through an online account he opened in the name of Grand Logistic at an Estonian financial services firm. He then allegedly used electronically stolen user names and passwords to access one or more online brokerage accounts in order to pump up the price of the stocks. He also allegedly used electronic means to hide his identity and his account intrusion.