Man charged for allegedly selling insider trading tips on the dark web

Apostolos Trovias faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted of money laundering and securities fraud.

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The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have charged a man they claim sold insider trading tips on the dark web. Apostolos Trovias allegedly used anonymizing software, pseudonyms (he is said to have gone by the nickname "The Bull") and bitcoin to mask his identity.

According to the complaint, Trovias sold stock information individually and on a subscription basis on defunct black market AlphaBay and other sites on the dark web. He's said to have styled himself as a “hedge fund insider” who worked in a trading branch as an office clerk.

In 2017, not long before authorities seized and shut down AlphaBay, Trovias allegedly sold an undercover Internal Revenue Service agent pre-release earnings report information for at least one publicly traded company. He is facing one count of money laundering (which has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison) and one count of securities fraud, which could lead to a prison sentence of 25 years if Trovias is convicted.

The complaint was filed in February but kept sealed until after Trovias was apprehended. He was arrested in Peru in May, according to a filing spotted by PCMag, which notes the US Government was working on extraditing him.

Others have been charged or convicted in connection with AlphaBay activity. In February 2020, feds charged Larry Harmon for allegedly running a $300 million bitcoin money laundering scheme. Last September, Bryan Connor Herrell was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Herrell was a moderator for AlphaBay and resolved disputes between vendors and customers. He pled guilty to conspiring to engage in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization.

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