SEC targets Russian fraudster

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has frozen the assets of a Russian man charged with hacking into other people's online brokerage accounts as part of a stock price manipulation scam. A New York federal court last week agreed with the SEC's request to freeze accounts held by Evgeny Gashichev and his Estonian company, Grand Logistic S.A, after at least 21 companies lost thousands of dollars.

In a seven-week period between late August and mid-October, Gashichev made $353,609 in illegal profits through at least 25 separate scams, the SEC charged.

Acting on the Commission's request, the Court issued a mid-December temporary restraining order which, among other things, freezes the defendant's assets and orders the repatriation of funds taken out of the United States.

Calling the scam "a high-tech version of a 'pump and dump' scheme", the SEC noted that "account intrusions combine securities fraud, identity theft and hacking," and the regulator said it would continue to pursue such cases actively.

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