Is Fake News Illegal? SEC Fines Writers, Companies Millions Of Dollars For False Stock Stories
The following is an excerpt from LYDIA O'NEAL | April 10, 2017 | ibtimes.com |
Freedom of speech may protect propagators of falsehoods like the “Bowling Green massacre” and a fictitious attack at a Washington, D.C., pizzeria, but the Securities and Exchange Commission drew a line Monday when it took action against 27 companies and individuals for allegedly promoting the promise of their stocks or receiving secret compensation while masquerading as unbiased market reporters.
Of the defendants facing legal action for the upwards of 250 finance articles that included false statements saying their authors were not compensated for their supposedly unbiased stock performance predictions, 17 paid settlements ranging from $2,200 to nearly $3 million, according to an SEC press release. Ten others faced lawsuits in Manhattan’s federal district court.
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