Man gets prison for phoney filing that drove up Fitbit stock

NEW YORK - A Virginia man who invented a bogus buyer to manipulate the price of Fitbit stock has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Robert Murray told a New York federal judge Friday it was "one of the stupidest things I can imagine anyone ever doing." The 25-year-old from Chesapeake, Virginia, pleaded guilty last November to securities fraud.

Prosecutors say he filed a regulatory document in November 2016 saying a fictitious company had offered to buy fitness tracker maker Fitbit at well over its share price. The stock briefly shot up about 10 per cent, and Murray sold Fitbit stock options he had.

The Securities and Exchange Commission says Murray made over $3,000, but other investors lost money by paying artificially inflated prices.

San Francisco-based Fitbit Inc. declined to comment.


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