FBI: Apostle Trovias is accused of laundering on DarkWeb


Almost four years after the closure of the drug market AlphaBay, federals continue to charge people with criminal activity.

On Friday, the SEC and Ministry of Justice announced charges against Apostolos Trovias, a Greek national who claims to have posted on the website under the pseudonym "The Bull".

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However, in contrast to drug traffickers, authorities claim that Trovias used a darkweb forum as a way to chat with people who wanted to buy or sell confidential information, while hiding behind "anonymization software, nicknames, and Bitcoin payments."

On AlphaBay and other dark web sites such as Dream Market or Nightmare Market, the indictment alleges that Apostolos Trovias offered and eventually sold stock information. However, as described in the complaint (PDF) his clients included at least one IRS undercover agent and one undercover agent FBI.

In 2017, the document claims that Apostolos Trovias provided the IRS agent with pre-release information on at least two occasions in exchange for Bitcoin. The information came from quarterly earnings reports from Illumina and Analogic, although documents show that Trovias combined some of the data in one of the reports.

Between December 2016, when it was registered on the website, and July 2017, when AlphaBay ceased operations, APOSTOLOS TROVIAS, a / k / a “The Bull”, the defendant offered for sale on AlphaBay advice based on shares to non-public information from specific issuers of securities and which could be purchased individually, on a weekly or monthly basis for prices ranging from $ 29,95 per tip or to $ 329,95 for a monthly subscription to non-public based advice internal information.

  1. Between December 2016, when APOSTOLOS TROVIAS, a / k / a “The Bull”, the defendant, acquired his account and around July 2017, when AlphaBay ceased operations, TROVIAS completed the sale of dozens of tips, approximately three weekly and three monthly programs, with a total of approximately 45 transactions through AlphaBay.
  2. Also around 2017, APOSTOLOS TROVIAS, a / k / a "The Bull", the defendant, offered for sale and sold, among other confidential information belonging to various securities issuers, for about $ 5.000 in Bitcoin, at least one Report profits before its release by a public company.

By 2020, the federals were claiming that Trovias was trying to build his own dark website, most likely because the markets he was using were still closing. The ministry documents do not mention any arrests.

However, PCMag.com has a document from 27 May seeking extradition after his arrest in Peru.

The US Department of the Interior accuses him of securities fraud, which could lead to a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, as well as a charge of money laundering with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.


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