The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against the chief operating officer of a taxi medallion company claiming he paid for positive articles in places such as SeekingAlpha.com, TheStreet.com and Crain’s New York to boost its stock price, reports Theo Wayt of the New York Post.
Wayt writes, “Andrew Murstein, the 57-year-old president and chief operating officer of Manhattan-based Medallion Financial Corp., allegedly came up with the scheme as the rise of Uber and Lyft caused investors to sour on taxi-related stocks.
“In a bid to change investors’ minds, the SEC says, Murstein hatched a plan: hiring media strategists to write articles boosting his company without disclosing that they were being paid. The strategists then used fake names to place at least 50 articles about Medallion Financial on sites including Seeking Alpha, TheStreet, HuffPost and Crain’s New York Business from 2014 to 2017, according to the complaint.
“‘Murstein allegedly paid for more than 50 articles and hundreds of positive comments, which were really paid advertisements placed across the web in an effort to deceive investors about the value of Medallion’s stock,’ SEC New York regional director Richard Best said.”
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