Texan duo charged with pump-and-dump spam offences

Two men from Texas have been charged with organised crime and money laundering offences for allegedly carrying out a pump-and-dump spamming campaign.

Authorities in the US have accused the pair of using pump-and-dump spam emails to artificially boost the share prices of at least 13 penny stocks between May 2005 and December 2006.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Darrel Uselton, 40, and his uncle, Jack Uselton, 69, with orchestrating a series of spam email campaigns designed to con investors and manipulate the stock market.

According to reports, the duo allegedly used a zombie network of compromised computers across the country to send the messages. The US authorities closed in on the pair after an SEC lawyer received one of the fraudulent emails.

The men are accused of defrauding computer users out of $4.6 million (£2.3 million).

In March, the SEC suspended the trading of 35 companies that had been the subject of pump-and-dump emails.

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