The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut arrested a Rockville Centre resident on Dec. 4 on charges of wire fraud.
According to U.S. Attorney David Fein, David Miller, 40, is accused of taking part in a fraud scheme relating to large purchases of stock in Apple while he was a trader for a brokerage firm, Rochdale Securities LLC of Stamford, Conn.
Miller attempted to defraud Rochdale by executing a trade to buy more than 1.6 million shares of Apple stock on Oct. 25, the day Apple was scheduled to announce its earnings for the quarter, Fein said. According to Fein, Miller misled Rochdale by saying that he was fulfilling a customer order, and that the customer, not the firm, would risk a loss if the trade was unprofitable.
The stock price declined after the earnings announcement, but the customer reported to Rochdale that he had ordered only 1,625 shares of Apple. Fein said that Miller claimed that he made a mistake by ordering multiples of the client’s order. Rochdale was left holding more than 1.6 million shares, and suffered a loss of approximately $5 million.
“… [T]his defendant orchestrated the unauthorized purchase of approximately $1 billion of Apple stock in a fraudulent get-rich-quick scheme that backfired, causing massive losses for his employer,” Fein said. “I commend the FBI, with substantial assistance of the SEC and FINRA” — the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority — “for its rapid response and for bringing this defendant to justice.”
Miller is also accused of defrauding another broker-dealer, convincing him over the course of several weeks to sell 500,000 shares of Apple stock while falsely claiming that he was trading for a company with which he had no relationship. Fein alleges that Miller engaged in this scheme to hedge against the large purchase of Apple stock at Rochdale.
“As is so often seen in these types of cases, the alleged criminal conduct of Miller was for personal gain at the expense and detriment of others,” said Kimberly Mertz, the FBI special agent in charge of the New Haven, Conn., division. “Manipulating and orchestrating stock transactions in such a manner is a very serious criminal offense, and its impact can be both devastating and lasting. [Miller’s] arrest underscores the FBI’s commitment to investigating this and all types of securities fraud in our nation’s stock markets.”
Miller surrendered to the FBI in Bridgeport, Conn., on Dec. 4, appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in Bridgeport and was released on $300,000 bond. The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.