Twenty-year-old twin brothers Thomas Edward Hunter and Alexander John Hunter, both from the United Kingdom, have been running a sophisticated fraud scheme by relying on a so-called “stick picking robot” that allegedly knew how to identify penny stocks that would suddenly grow in value.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint against the two, accusing them of running the elaborate plot ever since they were 16 of age.
During this time, it’s believed that they defrauded around 75,000 investors, mostly from the United States, from which they gained around $1.2 million (912,000 EUR), representing annual subscriptions.
Most of the victims paid a $47 (35 EUR) annual fee, but some also got fooled into purchasing the home version of the robot called “Marl,” a combination of the names of two fictitious investors, Michael Cohen and Carl Williamson.
On the sites they used to advertise the miracle robot, doublingstocks.com and daytradingrobot.com, the defendants claimed that Marl was a highly complex piece of software that made predictions based on statistically driven analysis.
To make everything even more legitimate-looking, the suspects claimed that one of the investors, Cohen, was the one that developed the Global Alpha computer stock trading model for Goldman Sachs.
“The defendants' claims about the Marl newsletter and software were untrue. In truth, the newsletters and software sold by the defendants neither contained nor performed any real analysis of securities or their trading patterns. The stocks ‘recommended’ by the newsletters and software were simply those that promoters had paid the defendants to tout,” the complaint reads.
A simple search via Google shows that a lot of people were questioning the service’s legitimacy, but there were also a lot of individuals who got scammed.
Remember! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.