An international ring of computer hackers, a chimpanzee, a con man and several scantily clad females: This is a peek into the strange world of a man named Christopher Rad.
Rad was found guilty of running a global conspiracy to manipulate stocks, raking in millions of dollars for himself. He began as a legitimate businessman, running a car wash and a carpet steam cleaning company but he clearly wanted more.
"It didn't matter how he was gonna make money. He just wanted more money," said Erez Liebermann, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Rad.
So Rad orchestrated a massive pump-and-dump scheme, where someone encourages investors to buy into a stock, driving the price up and allowing him or her to sell off their own shares at an inflated price. Rad hired hackers to not only manipulate the price and volume of approximately 40 stocks but also hack directly into private accounts to buy and sell stock.
"They controlled the stocks that they wanted to sell. And they were able to pump up the stock themselves without ever having to do with the whole boiler room operation," said Liebermann.