Navy vet indicted for alleged ‘meme stock’ scheme


CHICAGO — A United States Navy veteran from Chicago was indicted on federal criminal charges Monday after allegedly swindling retired and active-duty Navy members of nearly $350,000 in an investment fraud scheme, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Information Office.

Robert L. Murray Jr, 43, was charged with four counts of wire fraud in an indictment returned Monday in the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Illinois.

Allegedly, after retiring from the Navy, Murray occasionally traded securities online from his residence, the indictment says. He later founded Deep Dive Strategies LLC — an investment fund — which purported to invest in publicly traded securities. Murray then solicited investors, which included retired and active-duty members of the Navy, by portraying himself on social media as a skilled and successful options trader with an effective algorithm for trading securities.

The indictment then alleges that Murray failed to invest or trade with all of the money provided to him by investors, instead using a portion of their funds to pay for personal expenses like shopping, eating out at restaurants and traveling.

With the investor funds Murray did use to conduct trades, the indictment alleges he lost most of those funds by placing a high-risk bet on the ‘meme stock’ GameStop. When investors later asked for an accounting of their funds, Murray ignored or refused their requests, resulting in the investors losing all of their funds entrusted to Murray — $342,000 in total — the indictment states.

Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

Murray’s arraignment is set for late Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

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