Hacker gets two years of stock manipulation

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A Malaysian hacker has been sentenced to two years in prison by US authorities for breaking into stock trading accounts

A Malaysian hacker has been sentenced to two years in prison by US authorities for breaking into stock trading accounts and using them to ramp up prices in useless shares.

From February 2006 through December 2006 Thirugnanam Ramanathan, 35, joined a group of hackers who would buy low value shares then use stolen internet stock accounts to buy the same shares, boosting their price.

He pled guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft and was sentenced to two years in prison, fined US$362,247 and given three years of supervised release.

At least 60 customers and nine brokerage firms in the United States have been identified as victims. According to information presented during the sentencing hearing, brokerage firms sustained more than US$300,000 in losses during Thirugnanam Ramanathan’s participation in the scheme.

Two other men, Jaisankar Marimuthu, 33, and Chockalingham Ramanathan, 34, have been named as coconspirators. Marimuthu is currently in prison in Hong Kong awaiting extradition while Ramanathan is still at large.
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