WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Virginia resident who dealt with microcap stock has been charged by the federal government with participating in thousands of "manipulative trades" for stocks he was being paid to market.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Eric Landis lied to a third-party microcap company's media buyers about promoting stocks to subscribers/investors in an effort to build trading volume. Landis traded microcap shares through brokerage accounts in his name, in an entity he managed as well as in the name of third parties as part of his manipulative trading of stocks he was being paid to promote, the SEC said.
“Microcap investors should know that sometimes market volume in a particular stock can be driven by a single fraudulent actor, as alleged here,” SEC Boston Regional Office director Paul Levenson said in a statement. “Our thorough analysis allowed us to detect thousands of manipulative trades by Landis.”
The SEC's complaint against Landis which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, claims he violated federal securities laws and asks for a permanent injunction, disgorgement "of ill-gotten gains" along with monetary penalties, according to the Commission.