Arab Times

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)

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