On February 20, 2018, a New York-based accountant pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit tax fraud.  According to court documents, between 2014 and 2016 Shaun Greenwald conspired with Joseph Taub and others to manipulate the prices of several publicly traded companies through coordinated trading in dozens of “straw accounts” held at various broker-dealers.  Using accounts in the names of family members, the co-conspirators would first purchase a large block of shares of a company in a “Winner Account.”  The co-conspirators would then place multiple small orders of the same company’s stock in a “Loser Account,” in order to place upward pressure on the stock’s price.  Taub and Greenwald traded in “Winner Accounts” and “Loser Accounts” in tandem to place upward pressure on the price of a particular company’s shares after Taub or other conspirators purchased a large block of shares in a “Winner Account.”  After the price moved higher due to the manipulative trading, members of the conspiracy allegedly liquidated their holdings, generally realizing gains even after accounting for losses in the “Loser Accounts.”  Taub has pleaded not guilty. United States v. Greenwald, 18-cr-78 (D.N.J.)

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