US regulators have frozen the assets of a Russian who they believe made a killing on the stock exchange by hacking servers.
According to Wired, a federal judge in New York granted a petition from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and froze the assets of Broco Investments.
Broco is a one man outfit run by Valery Maltsev and is based in St Petersburg, Russia, where most people have their assets frozen at this time of year.
The SEC claimed that Broco artificially moved the prices of more than 38 thinly traded securities. The transactions allegedly created the appearance of legitimate trading activity and artificially affected the prices of the shares.
The scam is called "hack, pump and dump." An Indian man was sentenced to two years in prison for undertaking a similar scam in 2008.
Broco would purchase stocks for its own portfolio and immediately place unauthorized buy orders for the same securities at inflated prices using hacked Scottrade accounts. Then it would quickly sell its shares taking illegitimate profits.
Maltsev is believed to have grossed $141,500 in approximately 15 minutes at one time.