A Scottish citizen was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco Thursday for allegedly using Twitter accounts to manipulate stock prices causing $1.6 million in losses to shareholders.
James Craig, of Dunragit, Scotland, set up Twitter accounts using names similar to actual market research firms then tweeted false information about publicly traded companies to drive down their stock price, according to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) statement. For example, Craig created the Twitter handles @Mudd1Waters and @citreonresearc to emulate Muddy Waters Research and Citron Research, the DOJ reported.
“Craig then bought securities of the targeted companies through his girlfriend's brokerage account and later sold them at a higher price per security. Craig's actions are alleged to have caused of more than $1.6 million in losses to shareholders, the DOJ said.
Craig is charged with a single count of securities fraud and if convicted faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.