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Alternative Market Briefing

FBI combing social media such as Twitter and Facebook to look for securities fraud

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia – Two agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have revealed the Feds are combing social media, including Twitter and Facebook to look for securities fraud, a Reuters report said.

April Brooks, a special agent in charge of the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and David Chaves, a supervisory agent, who are both involved in the on-going probe into insider trading in the hedge fund industry disclosed that the social media is a potential source for securities fraud. Brooks and Chavez are the agents overseeing FBI’s "Operation Perfect Hedge," a Feds program credited for the conviction of at least 60 hedge fund traders, analysts and industry consultants involved in securities frauds.

Brooks told Reuters TV, "I will tell you technology will play a huge part, social media, Twitter. Any kind of technology that is new and doesn't exist today, if there is any way to exploit it, these individuals will exploit it."

Last week, the FBI arrested Mathew Martoma, a former health-care portfolio manager at CR Intrinsic Investors, a unit of Steve Cohen’s $14bn hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors, in Florida for allegedly getting inside information on a clinical trial of an Alzheimer's drug. This information allowed SAC Capital to earn at least $276m in profits, in what prosecutors described as "the most lucra......................

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