We all know you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. That, especially in online message boards, chatrooms and social media spaces, boasting, fabulism and outright lies are the chief currency and lingua franca, and that most if not all of what is written there will (or at least should) be thusly dismissed.

That being said, if you are in fact insider trading, you should probably not write, “insider trading is part of my investment strategy” on one of them.

The SEC said [Benjamin] Wylam is a Santa Clara, Calif., high-school teacher who worked as a bookmaker on the side. He communicated about stocks with [former Infinera Corp. senior revenue manager Nathaniel] Brown using WhatsApp, an encrypted text-messaging application, the SEC said. Mr. Wylam made over $1 million in illicit profit, according to the SEC’s lawsuit, which said he wrote on an internet message board that “insider trading is part of my investment strategy.”

Now, if you think that reference to Wylam—who, by the by, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and settled with the SEC—as a part-time bookie means there’s more to this than a guy allegedly helping his clearly less successful friend struggling to afford to live in the most expensive place on earth on a teacher’s salary out, you could not be more right. There are, in fact, a half-dozen buddies implicated in this particularly (allegedly) illicit circle-jerk.

Mr. Wylam passed his illicit scoops about Infinera to Naveen Sood, who owed him a gambling debt of more than $100,000….

That doesn’t seem to be how it should work, but OK.

Mr. Sood then shared the information with three other friends—Naresh Ramaiya, Marcus Bannon and Matthew Rauch…. The alleged scheme also involved illicit trading in shares of another company, cybersecurity vendor Fortinet Inc. Mr. Bannon worked at Fortinet in sales and told Mr. Sood in October 2016 about a negative announcement his employer planned to make in the coming days, authorities said. Mr. Sood used the information to buy options that would pay off if Fortinet’s stock price fell, and shared the tip with Messrs. Wylam and Ramaiya, the SEC’s lawsuit alleges.

Silicon Valley Friends Charged in Insider-Trading Ring [WSJ]

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