The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) In the US has filed a number of securities fraud charges against two Texans in connection with a botnet swarm designed to ramp up the price of penny stocks.
The SEC claims that Darrel Uselton and his uncle, Jack Uselton, created a series of botnets that sprayed advisory emails around the US, telling Netters that a given stock or series of stocks, was about to rise in value.
As you might expect, some greedy souls bought the shares and - guess what - the price did rise. Until the pair sold the shares they'd bought earlier, of course.
Incredibily, the Texas authorities say they seized more than $4.6 million from bank accounts associated with the Useltons.
According to Linda Chatman Thomsen, the SEC's Director of Enforcement, the Useltons' scheme reflects a widespread contempt for investors and the marketplace.
Yes, but $4.6 million? That's some haul from a penny share scam...