SpaceX Bitcoin Scandal Goes Public

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Elon Musk’s world has been rocked this week as multiple sources report that a SpaceX engineer has plead guilty to charges of insider trading on the dark-web according to the Department of Justice. The SEC has also claimed that he falsely sold “insider tips” in exchange for Bitcoin. The engineer James Roland Jones faces up to five years in federal prison.

According to The New York Post,

“The Tampa US Attorney’s Office on Thursday identified Jones as a SpaceX engineer from Hermosa Beach, California, but did not say when he worked at the rocket-builder or how long he was there.”

The DOJ released a statement describing the exploits of “Millionaire Mike”,

“According to the plea agreement, from 2016 until at least 2017, Jones conspired with another to commit securities fraud. Jones, using the moniker “MillionaireMike,” purchased personally identifiable information (“PII”) on the dark web, including names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers. He used this information, in part, to open and/or operate accounts for the purpose of conducting financial transactions based on material, non-public information related to publicly traded securities, more commonly known as “insider information.”

Business Insider reports that Jones, “In a separate set of charges, the Securities Exchange Commission on Thursday accused Jones of falsely claiming to have what he called “insider tips” and selling them on the dark web in exchange for bitcoin.” According to the SEC Jones made about $27,000 off of this scam. According to the SEC this is the first case in which it has brought enforcement action alleging a securities violation on the dark-web.

The SEC also released a statement, “This case shows that the SEC can and will pursue securities law violators wherever they operate, even on the dark web,” said David L. Peavler, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office.  “We have committed staff and technology to pierce the cloak of anonymity these wrongdoers try to throw over their crimes.”

An Embarrassment for Musk And SpaceX

It is an embarrassing episode for the globally renowned entrepreneur and his space start-up on the eve of a new booster launch and as Musk’s investment in Bitcoin is well known. Musk is also mulling an interview on The Jordan Peterson Podcast according to his Twitter.

 

 

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