SEC Brings Insider Trading Charges Against Dark Web User ‘The Bull’

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged a 30-year-old Greek man with securities fraud and money laundering for allegedly selling insider trading tips on dark web marketplaces.

Between December 2016 and this February, the SEC says Apostolos Trovias, who used the screen name “The Bull,” claimed to be “an actual office clerk working in a trading branch” and sold stock tips to buyers through monthly and weekly subscriptions as well as one-off sales. Trovias also occasionally sold unpublished earnings reports of public companies.

Trovias used several dark web marketplaces to hawk his wares, including the now-defunct AlphaBay, Dream Market, Nightmare Market and ASAP Market. Trovias also created his own website to sell subscriptions to his “tips.”

All of Trovias’ sales were payable in bitcoin, which the SEC’s complaint says was used to hide his “insider trading scheme.”

It is still unclear whether the purported stock tips Trovias was selling to his customers were based on real nonpublic information obtained from a “third-party tipper,” or whether Trovias simply made them up.

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Written by John Smith

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