Dark web operator sought to sell inside information on stocks: Feds
Federal authorities say they are seeking a fugitive who tried to create a marketplace in the dark spaces of the internet for those with an appetite for inside information on stocks.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said Apostolos Trovias, 30, of Athens, Greece, identified himself online as “The Bull” as he solicited and offered to sell inside information.
Federal authorities unsealed a criminal indictment against him on Friday, charging him with securities fraud and money laundering.
They said he’s sold inside information on stocks since December 2016, when he registered a “Dark Web” internet site known as AlphaBay Market where he charged individuals $99.95 weekly or $299 monthly subscriptions to get access to inside information on stocks.
The “Dark Web” is an area of the internet where hidden identities flourish, allowing individuals to set up marketplaces for various illegal products and services such as illegal drugs, stolen identities and computer hacking.
The site only operated for about six months but Trovias then began using encrypted messaging and email services to communicate with customers, authorities said. Online, he used an avatar, labeling himself as “The Bull,” they said.
Among information Trovias sold was a pre-release earnings report misappropriated from a publicly traded company, they said.
Strauss said in a release that Trovias tried to hide his insider trading scheme behind anonymizing software, screennames, and bitcoin payments. (AP)