An engineer at Elon Musk’s SpaceX has issued a guilty plea following charges related to insider trading brought about by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Californian resident, James Roland Jones is accused of accessing a dark web marketplace where ne’er-do-wells claim to sell insider trading information.
“In order to gain access to the insider trading forum, Jones lied about possessing material, nonpublic information. By doing so, Jones allegedly gained access to the insider trading forum for a short period, but was unsuccessful in obtaining valuable material, nonpublic information,” the SEC wrote in a press release.
The release goes on to state that Jones allegedly devised a scheme to sell his own insider tips, “that he falsely described as material, nonpublic information from the insider trading forum or corporate insiders” and several people reportedly paid him for this information.
A report by Bloomberg reveals that Jones had purchased trading tips from an undercover FBI agent, so that’s not good.
While Jones is reportedly an engineer at SpaceX, as SpaceX stock isn’t publicly traded we aren’t sure that the accused used his position to sell information.
“This case shows that the SEC can and will pursue securities law violators wherever they operate, even on the dark web,” said director of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, David Peavler. “We have committed staff and technology to pierce the cloak of anonymity these wrongdoers try to throw over their crimes.”
As mentioned, Jones plead guilty to violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws which means he could face up to five years in a federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set according to Reuters.
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