Santa Cruz County stock trader pleads guilty to securities fraud

SCOTTS VALLEY — A local securities trader pleaded guilty this week in a federal securities fraud case.

Scotts Valley resident Jason Nielsen is set to be sentenced Oct. 24 on one count of securities fraud in U.S. District Court in San Jose and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

According to information provided by the US Department of Justice, Nielsen worked to manipulate the stock price of Sunnyvale-based Arrayit in 2019 and 2020. finger allergy and COVID-19 tests.

Nielsen was a big investor in Arrayit who at various times owned as much as 10% of the company’s stock, according to court documents in the case. He also shares his name with another Jason Nielsen, who works as a physics professor at UC Santa Cruz.

Nielsen has attempted to defraud purchasers of the company’s securities by using public bulletin boards to post false and misleading information about Arrayit, the existence of real supply and demand for Arrayit securities, and the nature of its personal financial stake in Arrayit securities, according to court documents. It used the name “PennyStockAlert”.

Nielsen’s shares were “all for the purpose of fraudulently inducing other investors to purchase Arrayit securities and thereby driving up the stock price, and all while Nielsen was simultaneously and secretly selling his own previously acquired shares to an artificially inflated price,” according to the documents filed by the prosecution. .

The practice of fraudulently driving up stock prices is known as “scalping”.

The case was prosecuted by the Northern California District Office of the Department of Justice.

Victims connected to the case can access the victim notification system for updates and information related to the case. Victims with questions may contact the Fraud Section Victim Assistance Unit by calling the Victim Assistance Hotline at 888-549-3945 or emailing [email protected] .gov. Additional information is available at justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/Nielsen.

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