Two Chinese citizens were charged Tuesday, Oct. 15, with allegedly participating in a complex market manipulation conspiracy, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Xiaosong Wang, 31, and Jiali Wang, 41, both from China, were charged with a stock spoofing conspiracy.
According to the complaint, Xiaosong Wang, Jiali Wang and their accomplices conspired and participated in a coordinated stock manipulation plan that artificially influenced the prices of publicly traded securities.
They led others in the market to believe that there was interest and commercial activity in certain stocks, but in reality, there was no such interest or commercial activity, as they benefited from the price movements they caused.
The alleged scheme targeted “thinly-traded” securities, which are securities with a low trading volume that are volatile and highly responsive to buying/selling activity.
The defendants are alleged to have placed (or coordinated the placement of) thousands of non-bona fide purchase/sell orders in order to move stock prices up or down. After the prices moved and the defendants purchased/sold the securities at the artificially higher/lower prices, the initial orders were canceled, according to the statement.
It is presumed that the accused and their accomplices obtained millions of dollars as a result of the scheme of falsifying the price of shares.
Jiali Wang was arrested Monday afternoon at Logan International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Beijing, while Xiaosong Wang was arrested at a home he owns in Upton, Massachusetts.
The conspiracy charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Both defendants will be tried in the United States District Court in Boston.