Article: Dark Web User Known As “The Bull” Charged In Insider Trading Scheme

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Dark Web User Known As “The Bull” Charged In Insider Trading Scheme

Department of Justice, 09 July 2021

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of a criminal indictment and a criminal complaint charging APOSTOLOS TROVIAS, a/k/a “The Bull,” with securities fraud and money laundering in connection with his scheme to solicit and sell stock trading tips and pre-release earnings and deal information regarding public companies.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Today’s charges demonstrate our Office’s continuing commitment to stopping those who pursue and use inside information to gain an illegal edge in the stock market. As alleged, Apostolos Trovias attempted to hide his insider trading scheme behind anonymizing software, screennames, and bitcoin payments. The Indictment and Complaint unsealed today show that committing insider trading using new technologies still produces a decidedly traditional outcome: a criminal indictment.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Behind the veil of the Dark Web, using encrypted messaging applications and emails, Trovias created a business model in which he sold—for profit—proprietary information from other companies,, stock trading tips, pre-release earnings, and other inside information, as we allege. The FBI operates within the Dark Web too, and as Trovias learned today, we don’t stop enforcing the law just because you commit federal crimes from behind a router with your keyboard.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment and Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

Since at least in or about December 2016, APOSTOLOS TROVIAS, who identifies himself by the pseudonym “The Bull,” has used websites on the Dark Web and encrypted messaging services to solicit and sell confidential, non-public information about publicly traded companies (“Inside Information”) to enrich himself. TROVIAS’s scheme consisted of multiple related efforts to obtain and monetize confidential nonpublic business information, including (1) the sale of misappropriated stock tips based on confidential customer trading information; (2) the sale of pre-release earnings reports and deal information misappropriated from publicly-traded companies; and (3) the attempted creation of an online marketplace to connect, for a commission, individuals misappropriating Inside Information to individuals willing to pay for and trade on Inside Information.

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