Three persons were brought before the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) of the US on the allegations of being involved in “insider trading” since 2017 for a company called Long Blockchain. One of the accused allegedly sold stocks of the company prior to the changing of the company’s name which eventually led to the increase of stocks’ prices. While the two persons accepted the guilt that they were tipped by someone and then traded according to the information received to their advantage.
Long Blockchain is a US-based company that was earlier known by the name “Long Island Iced Tea”. It was an average company until it changed its name to “Long Blockchain”, which surprisingly brought massive gains for the company. It was alleged that the company took illegal advantage by rebranding because of the change of name to include “Blockchain”. This then helped the company to receive exorbitant value against its stocks.
However, three of the persons belonging to Long Blockchain had been facing charges of the financial crimes they committed in 2017. All three of them have been accused of committing financial crimes such as illegal profiteering and illegal gains. The suit was heard by SECP and the prosecution argued that three employees of Long Blockchain committed “inside trading” by rebranding the company’s name.
It was alleged that a person named Eric Watson was the mastermind who came up with the idea of changing the name of the company. He allegedly made profits for himself on the basis of inside information. Through this information, he then traded stocks to his personal advantage and made unaccounted for massive profits. Watson had a friend named Oliver Barret-Lindsay who was a stockbroker. Watson tipped his friend in crime and told him about the rebranding. Resultantly, both of them were able to successfully commit the financial crime, which remained unnoticed by anyone until now.
The information which Watson gave to his friend, was then further shared with another person named Gannon Giguiere, a friend of Barret-Lindsay. Giguiere then made sure that he acquires huge piles of stocks of Long Blockchain. It was submitted in the lawsuit that Giguiere acquired exactly 35,000 Long Blockchain’s stocks. Resultantly, all three of them shared a profit of US$ 160,000.
Now all these three individuals were brought before SEC for facing charges. The authority found all of them guilty of manipulating stocks’ market deliberately for their own good. It was also apprised to SEC that the two individuals namely Giguiere and Barret-Lindsay were already facing litigation before a judicial forum. In that case, as well, both of them have been facing the charges of manipulating the market particularly of stocks relating to a pharmaceutical company.
One of the SEC’s directly namely Richard Best said that the authority is committed to bringing financial crimes to face trial. He said that no one will be allowed to escape the due process of law.