A 17-year-old was ordered to give up the more than $93,000 he raised through an online "pump-and-dump" stock scheme as part of a settlement, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. Cole A. Bartiromo allegedly manipulated the stocks of 15 publicly traded companies through a scheme dubbed "Invest Better 2001." The SEC alleged that the plan offered "guaranteed" and "risk-free" investment programs by pooling investors' funds to bet on sporting events.
Bartiromo also allegedly purchased large blocks of stock and then posted thousands of false messages on Internet message boards, which drove up prices. He then sold his entire position. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York directed Bartiromo and Invest Better 2001 to deposit any assets outside the United States into the court's account. The court also froze his other assets. A civil penalty is still pending.