A Middle East Investment broker who sent out false press releases relating to Harman International to web sites like ChannelNews has been found dead in his home only days after he was sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Kuwait national was facing charges of spreading false takeover reports to bid up companies’ stock prices, including the price of Harman International stock.
According to TWICE Magazine the SEC charged that Hazem Khalid al-Braikan traded false news reports of a tender offer by a Middle East investment group to acquire Harman at $49.40/share, the SEC said.
“A phony press release publicizing the hoax offer was faxed to media outlets on Sunday, July 19, and subsequently reported on the Internet on Monday, July 20, before the stock market opened,” the SEC noted. ChannelNews was among the web sites that was sent one of his releases.
Because of the false report, Harman’s share price climbed more than 40 percent in pre-market trading from the previous trading day’s $25.18. When Harman repudiated the offer shortly before the market opened, the share price dropped sharply and closed the day at $20.86, the SEC said.