From Teen Stock Scammer To Top Stock Picker?

from the interesting-questions dept

Three years ago, the SEC made a big splash by fining a 15-year-old kid who had been caught touting penny stocks via spam on message boards. He made nearly three-quarters of a million dollars that way, and only had to give back $250,000. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous, but he claimed (and others agreed) that what he did was really no different than what many analysts on Wall Street did (minus the the fake names and completely made up facts – though, some may say that Wall Street was guilty of that as well). Later, author Michael Lewis wrote about the details of the Jonathan Lebed case and suggested there was much more to it, than the original report suggested. Basically, he makes a strong case for the idea that the kid didn’t really do that much wrong, and the SEC was just looking for a scapegoat – and couldn’t even fully explain how what the kid did was any worse than what regular analysts do. Now, it turns out that Jonathan Lebed (at the ripe old age of 19) is back in business touting penny stocks – though, now he’s careful to do it legally. He claims he’s going to bring in a million dollars this year alone. If anything, his reputation as a stock scammer has helped him get more legit business and companies are lining up to pay him to promote their stock to those on his mailing list.

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