Authorities say a former technology executive admits to fraud involving a scheme to boost Getty Images stock

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former technology executive has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud involving a scheme to artificially inflate the stock price of photo and video distribution company Getty Images, federal officials said Friday.

Robert Scott Murray, who was CEO of networking equipment maker 3Com for several months in 2006, has been charged with securities fraud over his alleged attempt to manipulate the stock price of Seattle-based Getty. Murray owned approximately 300,000 shares of Getty Images Holding Inc. In April 2023, according to Statement of the Ministry of Justice Claiming that the investor sought to boost Getty’s shares in order to unload his position for a greater profit.

according to Statement issued by the Securities and Exchange CommissionMurray first released A A series of newsletters Invite the company to sell itself or to Add Murray to its Board of Directors. Federal authorities said Murray issued these issues through Trillium Capital, a Massachusetts investment firm, of which Murray himself was the sole owner and director.

Then, on April 24, 2023, Trillium announced… Supposed attempt to obtain Getty Images Directly at $10 per share — nearly double the stock’s closing price the day before. While the company’s stock rose that day, its price remained well below $10.

GT It issued its own press release The next day, he cast doubt on the offer, calling it “an unsolicited, non-binding and highly conditional proposal” aimed at acquiring “an undisclosed volume of outstanding shares”. She said Trillium had not provided Getty’s board with any evidence that it had enough credibility to justify participation.

See also  US and Chinese regulators in talks over audit deal sources

The SEC called the offer “false and misleading,” noting that Murray and Trillium made no effort to raise the funds needed for the acquisition. Furthermore, the SEC noted, “Murray began liquidating his Getty Images shares within minutes after the market opened on April 24, without even waiting for Getty to respond to his stated offer.” The Justice Department statement confirmed that Murray sold all of his shares in Getty “in less than one hour for approximately $1,486,467.”

Murray could not be reached for comment. An email addressed to an address on Trillium’s website bounced back to The Associated Press, while multiple calls to Trillium’s published phone number yielded only busy signals.

The Justice Department said Murray will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *