If you’re looking for a way to get rich overnight, here’s an idea: somehow borrow $1 billion without anyone knowing what you’re doing, invest it all in Apple shares the night before an earnings call (when the stock price is all but guaranteed to rise), immediately sell the next morning, return the original capital, and then pocket the profit without anyone the wiser.
Sound too straightforward to be true? That’s because it is — although that didn’t stop 40 year old trader David Miller from trying the stunt back in 2012.
Unfortunately for Miller, this happened to be one of the rare times that Apple stock actually went down following an earnings call: leaving Miller facing 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud, and his undercapitalized trading company Rochdale Securities LLC looking at going under.
Well, a verdict has finally been reached and while it’s not for the full twenty years, Miller (unsurprisingly described as a “former trader” these days) has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for the stunt — which ultimately led to the demise of Rochdale Securities.
Having plead guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy, Miller’s defense attorney claims that his client deeply regrets the harm he has caused. “As we said on the day of his plea, this was a good and decent man who had led an otherwise exemplary life who acted out of desperation rather than greed. Judge Chatigny saw this to be the case and gave David a fair and reasonable sentence considering all these factors.”
An alleged co-conspirator was not identified in court papers.