News: SpaceX engineer pleads guilty to selling insider trading tips on dark web.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An engineer working for Elon Musk’s SpaceX pleaded guilty Thursday to a conspiracy to commit securities fraud by selling insider tips on the “dark web,” the Department of Justice and Securities said and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday.
The case was the first in which the SEC filed an enforcement lawsuit for online securities violations.
James Roland Jones of Redondo Beach, California, faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, the Justice Department said. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the agencies, from 2016 to at least 2017, Jones teamed up with another nameless person to access various dark web marketplaces, including a website that claims to be an insider trading forum, in search of tangible, nonpublic information that they can use for yourself securities trading.
The dark web allows users to access the internet anonymously and is often used to host websites that encourage illegal activity. Jones could not be reached for comment.
Jones also developed a scheme to sell what he mistakenly called insider tips on the dark internet, the agencies said. Several users who pay with Bitcoin bought these tips and ultimately traded based on the information provided by Jones.
Reporting by Michelle Price; Arrangement by Richard Pullin
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