A financial trader from Stranraer has been accused of fraud in a court in California.
The Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States has filed securities fraud charges against James Craig, whose address is given as Dunragit near Stranraer, alleging false ‘tweets’ he sent using his twitter account on the internet caused sharp drops in the stock prices of two companies and triggered a trading halt in one of them.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in the Northern District of California, Mr Craig ‘tweeted multiple false statements about the two companies on Twitter accounts that he deceptively created to look like the real Twitter accounts of well-known securities research firms’.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California has filed criminal charges against Mr Craig.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Mr Craig’s first false tweets caused one company’s share price to fall 28 percent before Nasdaq temporarily halted trading. The next day, Mr Craig’s false tweets about a different company caused a 16 percent decline in that company’s share price. On each occasion, it is alleged Mr Craig bought and sold shares of the target companies in a largely unsuccessful effort to profit from the sharp price swings, the SEC allege.
Despite enquiries by the Galloway Gazette, On Friday, November 6 Mr Craig’s whereabouts were unknown and it remained unclear whether or not he has legal representation.