SEC freezes UK hacker’s assets

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) obtained an emergency order from a New York court to freeze assets belonging to a United Kingdom citizen who allegedly engaged in a sophisticated hacking and market manipulation scheme.

The individual, Idris Dayo Mustapha, is believed to have hacked into brokerage accounts of retail investors in the U.S. and placing market-moving trades from their accounts without their knowledge, and then trading the same stocks from his own trading account.

The SEC alleges that his scam led to at least $289,000 in losses from the investors and he gained at least $68,000 in profits.

“We will swiftly track down hackers who prey on investors as we allege Mustapha did, no matter where they are operating from and no matter how sophisticated their technology,” Robert Cohen, co-chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's market abuse unit, said in a statement.

The ongoing investigation is a coordinated effort involving the market abuse unit at the SEC's Division of Enforcement and the regulator's Boston office.

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