The warning came just hours before ASIC announced Melbourne trader Gabriel Govinda had appeared at a filing hearing in the Magistrate’s Court faced with 23 charges of market manipulation and 19 charges of illegal dissemination of information.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions alleges that Mr Govinda breached the Corporations Act by giving a false or misleading appearance of active trading in about 20 ASX-listed securities between September 2014 and July 2015.

Social dilemma

He is accused also of disseminating information about illegal transactions relating to that alleged manipulation. Mr Govinda, whom ASIC sources described as a “lone ranger”, is on the hook for a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail and a fine of up to $765,000.

While “pump and dump” activity has long plagued the local sharemarket, Ms Taylor said it had risen during the pandemic as a wave of new participants entered the market. As many as…

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