On November 7, 2017, Robert Walter Murray pled guilty to securities fraud in connection with a stock manipulation scheme involving a sham tender offer for outstanding Fitbit, Inc. stock.  According to the indictment and statements made in public court proceedings, Murray, claiming to be an officer of a China-based entity called ABM Capital, filed a sham tender offer to purchase all outstanding Fitbit stock at a significant premium to its then-existing market price with the SEC.  As a result, the price of Fitbit stock temporarily, but significantly increased, allowing Murray to profit by selling call options he previously purchased.  The sham tender offer resulted in a temporary inflation in Fitbit’s market capitalization of over $100 million.  Murray pled guilty to one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million.  He will be sentenced on March 9, 2018.  U.S. v. Murray, 17-mj-03407 (S.D.N.Y.)

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