As expected, the Feds have nailed the “citizen journalist” who posted the fake Steve Jobs heart attack report on CNN’s iReport last month. He’s 18, and it doesn’t appear to have been a stock scam.
A fake Internet report that Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack was posted by a teenager, and investigators haven’t found evidence he tried to profit from driving down the stock, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is examining the 18-year-old’s motives after the article on CNN’s iReport.com sent Apple shares down as much as 5.4 per cent Oct. 3, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the probe isn’t public. While the investigation is continuing, the agency hasn’t unearthed any trading records that show he benefited from the drop, one of them said.
Unless the SEC finds evidence of stock manipulation, the case is probably out of its jurisdiction. Another prosecutor could always argue it broke some other law, though.