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World's youngest pump and dumper ‘did nothing wrong’

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The American teenager who paid back $285,000 made from dodgy Internet share trading has given his family a new toy. A shiny $42,000 Mercedes Benz.

Jonathan Lebed agreed last month to settle SEC charges after he was caught operating a marathon "pump and dump" scheme.

Jonathan, 15 at the time, bought large amounts of cheap stocks, hyped them up by sending emails to financial newsgroups, and then sold them at a huge profit.

He agreed to repay the $272,826 he made in profits, plus interest, while neither admitting nor denying the charges related to 11 trades.

The 'fine' was small potatoes for the New Jersey lad, who made around $800,000 all told from the scam. (Hence the new Mercedes sport utility vehicle parked at his family home.)

"Yes (I manipulated stocks)," he says. "But I wasn't doing anything wrong...I wasn't posting any kind of false information."

Jonathan has the support of his parents, Greg, a supervisor with Amtrack and Connie, and office temp. "(The settlement payment) does not make me happy," says Greg.

"He earned it. He did a lot of work. He didn't sit behind a garage smoking pot, or stealing wheels of a car."

The revelations can be viewed as part of a 60 Minutes interview with the earringed youth, to be aired by CBS on Sunday. ®

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