Feeds

SEC: 'Man tried to sell $500bn investments on LinkedIn'

Investors on alert after unregistered broker charged

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

US regulators have charged a financial advisor with trying to sell $500bn of fake securities on LinkedIn, amid warnings to investors and advisory firms about the risks of buying through social networks.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges [PDF] that Illinois-based Anthony Fields offered hundreds of billions of dollars in fraudulent securities through a few networking sites, including LinkedIn.

Fields, it is claimed, put bank guarantees and medium-term notes from financial institutions, including Credit Suisse, HSBC, BNP Paribas and RBS among others, up for sale on the sites, adding "if you are interested you can email for particulars".

The securities were, SEC alleges, offered through the firms Anthony Fields & Associates (AFA) and Platinum Securities Brokers, both of which were owned and operated solely by Fields.

Fields – who was at one time registered with the commission as a broker but had allowed his registration to lapse – is also accused of pretending that AFA had $400m worth of assets under management and a $50bn contract to trade US Treasury securities as well as falsely claiming that Platinum was a registered dealer.

SEC has not claimed that the alleged trickster made off with any cash, but said he had received interest from "multiple purported potential buyers".

"Fraudsters are quick to adapt to new technologies to exploit them for unlawful purposes," said Robert Kaplan, co-chief of the commission's enforcement division's asset management unit. "Social media is no exception, and today’s enforcement action reflects our determination to pursue fraudulent activity on new and evolving platforms."

As well as charging Fields, the commission also issued two alerts to the financial world about investment advisory firms' use of networking sites.

The first warned investment advisory firms that are using, or want to use, the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to advertise their services are still subject to federal securities laws, including anti-fraud, compliance and record-keeping provisions.

The second gave tips to investors on avoiding fraud on networking sites, including the time-honoured advice that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.