Adviser Accused of Using LinkedIn to Promote $500BILLION of Bogus Deals


LinkedIn is best known as a social networking hub, where people can locate and research just about anyone.

But for an Illinois-based investment adviser, regulators say, LinkedIn became a platform for promoting bogus investments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an enforcement action on Wednesday against Anthony Fields of Lyons, Ill., accusing him of making “fraudulent offers” of more than $500 billion in “fictitious securities through various forms of social media.”

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Mr. Fields, who is representing himself in the case, could not be immediately reached for comment.

“Fraudsters are quick to adapt to new technologies to exploit them for unlawful purposes,” Robert B. Kaplan, co-head of the asset management unit of the S.E.C’s enforcement division, said in a statement. “Social media is no exception, and today’s enforcement action reflects our determination to pursue fraudulent activity on new and evolving platforms.”

The case underscores the renewed effort in Washington to crack down on Internet investment schemes.

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