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Press Release

Dark Web User Known As “The Bull” Admits Guilt And Is Sentenced In Insider Trading Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Apostolos Trovias, a/k/a “The Bull,” Used the Dark Web and Encrypted Messaging Services that Catered to Aspiring Insider Traders

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that APOSTOLOS TROVIAS, a/k/a “The Bull,” pled guilty and was sentenced earlier today to time served, following approximately eleven months in custody, in connection with his scheme to solicit and sell confidential, pre-release earnings, deal, and other information regarding public companies.

According to the allegations in the Indictment, Complaint, statements made in court, and court filings:

Since at least in or about December 2016, APOSTOLOS TROVIAS, who identified himself by the pseudonym “The Bull,” had used websites on the Dark Web and encrypted messaging services to solicit and sell confidential, non-public information about publicly traded companies (“Inside Information”) to enrich himself. TROVIAS’s scheme consisted of multiple related efforts to obtain and monetize confidential nonpublic business information, including the sale of pre-release earnings reports and deal information misappropriated from publicly traded companies.

Further, in or about 2020, TROVIAS took steps to design and build a website to facilitate the purchase and sale of material, non-public information for use in stock trading (the “Inside Information Auction Site”). TROVIAS planned to use the Inside Information Auction Site to enrich himself by charging membership fees and commissions from individuals using the Inside Information Auction Site to engage in the unlawful trade of Inside Information.

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TROVIAS, 30, of Athens, Greece, had been arrested in the Republic of Peru in May 2021 and arrived in the United States by extradition on March 25, 2021. TROVIAS was ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $6,700.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the FBI. Mr. Williams further thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service for their cooperation and assistance in this investigation.

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Podolsky and Andrew Thomas are in charge of the case.


Nicholas Biase
Victoria Bosah
(212) 637-2600

Updated April 14, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-124