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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 18, 2021

SpaceX Engineer Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading

Tampa, Florida – James Roland Jones, a/k/a “MillionaireMike” (33, Hermosa Beach, CA), has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Jones faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, from 2016 until at least 2017, Jones conspired with another to commit securities fraud. Jones, using the moniker “MillionaireMike,” purchased personally identifiable information (“PII”) on the dark web, including names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers. He used this information, in part, to open and/or operate accounts for the purpose of conducting financial transactions based on material, non-public information related to publicly traded securities, more commonly known as “insider information.”

In April 2017, an FBI undercover employee provided Jones with purported insider information related to a publicly traded, U.S. company (“U.S. Company 1”). From April 18, 2017, until May 4, 2017, Jones and a conspirator conducted numerous securities transactions based on this purported insider information.

In June 2017, Jones gained control of an investment account that had been fraudulently opened in the name of J.L.M. (“the J.L.M. Account”). In July 2017, Jones revealed to the FBI undercover employee that Jones had insider information related to a second publicly-traded, U.S. company (“U.S. Company 2”). From July 14, 2017, until July 26, 2017, Jones and the conspirator conducted numerous securities transactions based on this purported insider information, including some of which that were executed using the J.L.M. Account.

On March 18, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced (https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2021-51) that it had also charged Jones with related conduct in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

The criminal case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Houston and Tampa Divisions). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carlton C. Gammons.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated April 1, 2021