A New Jersey influencer has been charged with securities fraud in connection with a $114 million stock manipulation scheme involving the use of social media platforms Twitter and Discord.
Mitchell Hennessey, who goes by the Twitter handle @Hugh_Henne, is among eight people accused of using the platforms to orchestrate the scheme, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The other defendants are Edward Constantinescu aka Constantin 38, of Montgomery; Perry “PJ” Matlock, 38, of The Woodlands; John Rybarczyk, 32, of Spring; Dan Knight, 23, of Houston; Gary Deel, 28, and Tom Cooperman, 34, both of Beverly Hills, California; and Stefan Hrvatin, 35, of Miami, Florida.
From in or around January 2020 to in or around April 2022, the defendants allegedly profited at least approximately $114 million from their scheme. The defendants allegedly used their extensive social media presence on Twitter and Discord to hype interest in particular securities by posting false and misleading information in order to “pump” the prices of those securities, while concealing their intent to later “dump” their shares by selling them at the artificially inflated prices.
According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly used the following aliases on Twitter and Discord to perpetuate the scheme: