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Eight Men Indicted for $114 Million Securities Fraud Scheme Orchestrated Through Social Media
U.S. Department of Justice
A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas returned an indictment that was unsealed yesterday charging eight men with conspiracy to commit securities fraud for a long-running, social media-based “pump and dump” scheme.
According to court documents, Edward Constantinescu, aka Constantin, 38, of Montgomery, Texas; Perry “PJ” Matlock, 38, of The Woodlands, Texas; John Rybarczyk, 32, of Spring, Texas; Gary Deel, 28, of Beverly Hills, California; Stefan Hrvatin, 35, of Miami, Florida; Tom Cooperman, 34, of Beverly Hills, California; Mitchell Hennessey, 23, of Hoboken, New Jersey; and, Dan Knight, 23, of Houston, Texas, allegedly engaged in a wide-ranging securities fraud conspiracy in which the defendants used their extensive social media presence on Twitter and Discord to hype interest in particular securities by posting false and misleading information in order to “pump” the prices of those securities, while concealing their intent to later “dump” their shares by selling them at the artificially inflated prices. From in or around January 2020 to in or around April 2022, the defendants profited at least approximately $114 million from their scheme.