A Greek national was charged by US prosecutors for providing insider trading services to clients through the Dark Web.
According to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Apostolos Trovias is facing criminal charges “in connection with his scheme to solicit and sell stock trading tips and pre-release earnings and deal information regarding public companies.”
The 30-year-old trader, operating under the name “TheBull,” has allegedly operated an insider trading business since at least 2016 through the Dark Web and encrypted messaging services, through to early 2021.
Trovias reportedly obtained and monetized insider information, offering clients data including stock tips based on confidential trading records and pre-release earnings reports.
The alleged trader began his career on AlphaBay, and when the underground marketplace was seized and closed down by law enforcement in 2017, he decided to sell information directly. Tips are available to buy on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis and Trovias secured approximately 100 clients willing to subscribe to the ‘service.’
According to the SEC, Trovias claimed that order-book data for sale was obtained from an employee of a securities trading firm.
Trovias is being charged with one count of securities fraud and another count of money laundering.
As the US takes allegations of insider trading seriously, the securities fraud could lead to 25 years behind bars, whereas money laundering carries a penalty of up to 20 years.
The SEC has also charged Trovias with violating antifraud legislation in federal securities laws, and the agency is seeking injunctions, disgorgement, and penalties.