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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


Litigation Release No. 23983 / November 9, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert W. Murray, No. 1:17-cv-03788 (S.D.N.Y. filed May 19, 2017)

United States v. Robert M. Murray, No. 1:17-cr-00452 (S.D.N.Y. filed May 5, 2017)

Fake EDGAR Filer Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud Charges

On November 7, 2017, Robert W. Murray, a defendant in ongoing SEC litigation, pled guilty to parallel criminal securities fraud charges filed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in connection with a scheme to manipulate Fitbit securities through fake filings on the SEC's EDGAR system. The court accepted Murray's plea, and his sentencing is currently scheduled for March 9, 2018.

The SEC previously charged Murray on May 19, 2017 with securities fraud arising out of the same fraudulent scheme. According to the SEC's complaint, Murray allegedly purchased Fitbit call options just minutes before a fake tender offer that he orchestrated was filed on the SEC's EDGAR system purporting that a sham company named ABM Capital LTD sought to acquire Fitbit's outstanding shares at a substantial premium. Fitbit's stock price temporarily spiked when the tender offer became publicly available on Nov. 10, 2016, and Murray sold all of his options for a profit of approximately $3,100. Murray took steps to conceal his identity and actual location in Virginia, including using an alias to create an email account and using an IP address registered to a company located in California.

The SEC's litigation against Murray continues. The SEC's complaint charges Murray with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, including Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-8.

Related Materials: SEC Complaint



Modified: 11/09/2017