The SEC has indicted eight men from “Atlas Trading”, primarily social media influencers, in a $100 million stock scheme. The men are accused of running an elaborate “pump and dump” scheme through various online channels including a very active “Discord” audio channel. Leaders of Atlas Trading including “Zach Morris” attracted a very large following by flaunting the fruits of their ill-gotten gains on social media. Fancy cars, pretty women, and a rags-to-riches story created an environment for millions of dollars to flow freely into the pockets of those involved with Atlas.
The overall plan behind the system was quite simple. A particular stock would get mentioned in the Atlas Trading Discord. That stock would get a bunch of people from the Atlas community to invest in. The top investors who suggested the stock would sell their shares once the stock was “pumped” up to an unnatural price. This process was a clear and obvious “pump and dump”. Atlas Trading leaders had no problem being very open and transparent with this practice. Maybe they thought that what they were doing is no different than a hedge fund going on CNBC and creating panic retail selling and profiting off of that.