Feeds

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

Investors on alert after unregistered broker charged

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?