Jonathan Lebed

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Jonathan Lebed
Born (1984-09-29) September 29, 1984 (age 30)
Nationality United States

Jonathan Lebed (born September 29, 1984) is an American notorious for using Internet technology to hype stocks.

Between September 1999 (he was only 15 at the time) and February 2000 Lebed made hundreds of thousands of dollars from the computer in his bedroom in Cedar Grove, New Jersey by posting in Internet chat rooms and on message boards encouraging people to buy penny stocks he already owned, thus, according to the SEC, artificially raising the price of the stock. Between September 1999 and February 2000, his smallest one-day gain was $12,000 while his biggest was $74,000.[1]

The SEC under Arthur Levitt prosecuted him. In 2001 Lebed and the SEC negotiated an out-of-court settlement in which Lebed forfeited $285,000 in profit and interest he had made on 11 trades without admitting any wrongdoing — allowing him to keep close to half a million dollars.[2]

The case was controversial — the SEC had never prosecuted a minor — and produced significant media interest. Lebed contended that his activity forecasting stock prices was no different from and no more illegal than what professional Wall Street analysts do every day, only he utilized the Internet. Despite the negative press and SEC inquiry, Lebed continues to trade actively and sends out a free email newsletter on a daily basis in which he gives stock picks. The end of the newsletter often contains a disclaimer like the one below.

My firm Lebed Biz LLC has been compensated by a third-party (<would be company name>) $20,000 cash for a one-month IDOI investor relations contract. Never invest into a stock we discuss unless you can afford to lose your entire investment. For our full disclaimer go to:

Jonathan Lebed

Lebed was profiled in an episode of the 2001 BBC documentary The Future Just Happened.[3]


  1. ^ Lewis, Michael Jonathan Lebed's Extracurricular Activities New York Times. March 17, 2015
  2. ^ Lewis, Michael. "Jonathan Lebed: Stock Manipulator, S.E.C. Nemesis -- and 15", The New York Times, February 25, 2001. Accessed December 22, 2014. "The S.E.C.'s news release explained that Jonathan -- the first minor ever to face proceedings for stock-market fraud -- had used the Internet to promote stocks from his bedroom in the northern New Jersey suburb of Cedar Grove."
  3. ^ The Future Just Happened

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