Ponzi, Madoff, Enron and Boesky are all names that strike fear into the hearts of legitimate stock market traders. The latest and most technologically savvy addition to this rogues’ gallery is Pennsylvanian day trader Joseph Willner; who has just been indicted for running a lucrative cyber ‘boiler room’ scheme to commit online securities fraud.
Willner and his associates hacked into more than fifty brokerage accounts over a three-year period, using victims’ money to buy and sell shares – often manipulating share prices to their advantage. They also used bitcoins as a means of laundering the proceeds.
While the scheme yielded the hackers over three quarters of a million dollars and lost the brokers around $1.5m, it’s ultimate outcome is likely to be a twenty year stretch in jail for the rogue trader.