U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20675 / August 7, 2008
SEC v. Dmitriy Butko, Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-01201 (D. Conn.)
SEC Sues Russian for Scheme to Intrude Into Online Accounts, Manipulate Market
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut charging thirty-five year old Dmitriy Butko, a Russian resident, with fraudulently manipulating the prices of numerous stocks by using the Internet to intrude into the online brokerage accounts of unsuspecting customers at U.S. broker-dealers.
The complaint alleges that between October 19, 2006 through November 30, 2006, Butko, or others acting in concert, commandeered the online trading accounts of unwitting investors at various broker-dealers, liquidated existing equity positions and, using the resulting proceeds, purchased thinly traded stocks in order to create the appearance of trading activity and pump up the price of the stocks. The complaint further alleges that in five instances, Butko, in his own account, bought shares in the thinly traded issuers just prior to or at the same time that compromised accounts were made to buy shares, creating the false appearance of market activity. Shortly after the intrusions, Butko sold all of his shares at the inflated prices. In all but one of these instances, Butko realized a profit from his trading, netting a total profit of $60,362.
The Commission's action charges Butko with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement and civil monetary penalties.
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Assistance has previously issued an investor alert, available on the SEC's website, which provides tips for avoiding becoming a victim of an online intrusion. See http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/onlinebrokerage.htm.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of FINRA in this matter.