Day trader settles spoofing charges brought by SEC

Maria Nikolova

Nicholas Mejia Scrivener of California was accused of perpetrating a manipulative securities trading scheme that netted him $140,000 in profits.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced settled charges against Nicholas Mejia Scrivener of Temecula, California for perpetrating a manipulative securities trading scheme that netted him approximately $140,000 in profits.

According to the SEC’s order, Scrivener, a full-time day trader, engaged in a manipulative trading strategy known as spoofing, which generally involved placing multiple orders to buy or sell a stock that Scrivener did not intend to execute, sometimes at multiple price levels.

Between February 2015 and September 2016, Scrivener engaged in a manipulative securities trading strategy known as spoofing. Scrivener engaged in this strategy in multiple brokerage accounts that he controlled, held both in his own and in his wife’s names, sometimes trading in the same security in multiple accounts at the same time.

Scrivener’s spoofing strategy generally involved placing multiple orders to buy or sell a stock that Scrivener did not intend to execute, or non-bona fide orders, sometimes at multiple price levels. The purpose of these non-bona fide orders was to create a false appearance of buy or sell interest at those price levels and thus to induce other market participants to trade against Scrivener’s bona fide orders on the opposite side of the market at artificially inflated or artificially depressed prices.

For example, after establishing a long position in a stock, Scrivener would place multiple orders to buy that stock, at multiple price levels, often at then-prevailing market prices, without an intent to execute those orders, but rather to create a false appearance of buy interest for the stock at those price levels. Once his non-bona fide buy orders had the desired effect and led to an increase in the market price of the stock, Scrivener entered bona fide sell orders to benefit from the artificially created price increase. After obtaining beneficially priced executions for his bona fide sell orders, and thus closing out his long position at a profit, Scrivener would then cancel his open non-bona fide buy orders.

On other occasions, after establishing a short position in a stock, Scrivener would place non-bona fide sell orders to close out his short position at artificially depressed prices.

At times, Scrivener conducted his manipulative trading in the same stock in multiple accounts at the same time, often placing non-bona fide orders in one account and bona fide orders in another account.

In June 2015, the broker-dealer where Scrivener had held his brokerage account since February 2015 closed Scrivener’s account. But in mid-February 2016, Scrivener opened another account with that broker-dealer in his wife’s name and continued his manipulative trading in that account until March 2016, when the broker-dealer closed that account as well. Scrivener then opened accounts with three other broker-dealers, one in his own name and two in his wife’s name, and continued his manipulative trading in these three accounts until the three broker-dealers closed those accounts one by one between April and September 2016.

By late September 2016, Scrivener generated at least $140,250 in illicit profits from his manipulative trading.

According to the SEC’s order, Scrivener violated Section 9(a)(2) of the Exchange Act, which makes it illegal for any person to effect, alone or with others, a series of transactions in a security creating actual or apparent active trading in such security, or raising or depressing the price of such security, for the purpose of inducing the purchase or sale of such security by others.

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Scrivener agreed to settle the charges by consenting to a cease-and-desist order and paying disgorgement of $140,250, prejudgment interest of $15,020, and a civil money penalty of $50,000.

Read this next


Telegram CEO’s Bitcoin stash valued in hundreds of millions

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov revealed that he has held several hundred million dollars in fiat and bitcoin for the past decade.

Digital Assets

Bitcoin drops below $60K as halving just 300 blocks away

Bitcoin fell below the $60,000 mark on April 17, just days before a scheduled reduction in mining rewards, known as the “halving,” which is set to occur on April 20.


New Meme Coin ICO Dogeverse Raises $6 Million After Completing Coinsult Audit

A new multichain meme coin, Dogeverse, has raised $6 million in its presale and recently passed a smart contract audit.

The new meme coin leverages bridge technology, ensuring the token is available across the most prominent on-chain markets.

Retail FX

Interactive Brokers posts Q1 earnings, raises dividend

Interactive Brokers Group Inc (NASDAQ:IBKR) announced its first-quarter financial results for the period ending March 31, 2024. The leading automated global electronic broker reported a GAAP diluted EPS of $1.61 and an adjusted EPS of $1.64.

Fundamental Analysis, Tech and Fundamental

Global FX Market Summary: USD, FED, Gold  April 17 ,2024

The Fed’s hawkish stance on interest rates is strengthening the US dollar while central banks globally grapple with inflation and economic growth.

Digital Assets

Kraken launches self-custodial wallet, joining competitors like Coinbase

Kraken, the second-largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, has introduced its own digital wallet, aligning its offerings with those of competitors like Coinbase.


BlockDAG’s Lunar Teaser Skyrockets Presale to $17.8M! Polkadot’s Price Soars with Optimism & Chainlink Unveils Updates

Polkadot (DOT) price prediction expects a rally as DOT garners attention for its high development activity, whereas Chainlink launches a new bridging tool. Meanwhile, BlockDAG has entered stage 9, with an impressive $17.8 million garnered in its ongoing presale.


MetaWin Announces Innovative TOKENIZED Tesla Cybertruck Contest on Ethereum’s Base Layer 2 Blockchain

This NFT, which represents full ownership rights to The Cybertruck, has been launched on the Ethereum Base Layer 2 blockchain operated by cryptocurrency giant Coinbase.

Tech and Fundamental, Technical Analysis

S&P 500 index Technical Analysis Report 17 April, 2024

S&P 500 index can be expected to fall further toward the next support level 5000.00, followed by 4940.00 (which reversed the price twice in February).