Three Indians, two of them from Chennai, have been charged with hacking into online brokerage accounts in the US to pump up the value of their shares.
The indictment unsealed on Monday charged Jaisankar Marimuthu, Chokalingam Ramanathan (both from Chennai) and Thirugnanam Ramanathan, an Indian residing in Malaysia, on a number of charges including conspiracy to commit computer fraud, securities fraud and identity theft.
The multi-million-dollar high-tech scheme in which the three are alleged to have participated has been called a “pump and dump” scheme by justice department officials.
They were a part of a fraudulent scheme that hacked online brokerage accounts in the US to pump up the value of shares, which were then sold for a profit, officials said.
A statement issued by the department speaks of two of the three being arrested in Asia and awaiting extradition to a federal court in Omaha, Nebraska.
This is said to be the first arrests overseas having to do with an online brokerage intrusion scheme perpetrated in the US.