On November 7, 2017, it was announced that Robert W. Murray had pleaded guilty to parallel criminal securities fraud charges. It was alleged that the defendant attempted to manipulate Fitbit securities using fake filings on the SEC’s EDGAR system. The court accepted the defendant’s plea. He is now scheduled to be sentenced on March 9, 2018.
Murray was charged by the SEC on May 19, 2017. He was charged with securities fraud related to the same scheme. The SEC alleged that Murray had purchased Fitbit call options minutes before a fake tender offer that he created was filed on the SEC’s EDGAR system.
The fake tender claimed that a sham company, ABM Capital LTD, was interested in obtaining Fitbit’s outstanding shares at a substantial premium. When the tender was made public on November 10, 2016, Fitbit’s stock spiked for a brief period. At this point, Murray sold all of options and generated roughly $3,100 in profits.
The defendant attempted to conceal his identity and location in Virginia. He used an alias to create a fake email account and used an IP address that was registered to a company in California. The SEC will continue litigation against Murray.
Additional details can be found here.