Selling stocks on Twitter

Did 50 Cent nearly get away with a 140-character pump and dump?

by Julia Belluz

It had almost all the markings of a pump and dump scheme: rapper 50 Cent encouraged his 3.8 million Twitter followers to invest in a penny stock, causing H&H Imports to jump by 290 per cent over two days, and resulting in a paper profit for the music star of some US$8.7 million. “You can double your money right now,” he wrote. “Just get what you can afford.” With 50’s blessing, shares in the Florida-based company soared to 39 cents each from 10 cents. He later deleted the tweets about the stock, which trades as HNHI, and replaced them with more moderate words: “I own HNHI stock. Thoughts on it are my opinion. Talk to financial adviser about it.”

Shortly after those final words, the H&H share price dropped to 25 cents, leaving critics to wonder whether 50 used his Twitter influence to artificially increase the value of a stock for its shareholders’ benefit. So far, it appears the 35-year-old rapper (whose real name is Curtis Jackson) has avoided violating securities laws because he has not sold any of his H&H stock. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment about whether they’d investigate. Still, questions remain about what constitutes a 140-character pump and dump.




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Selling stocks on Twitter

  1. wish i got in early, and sold before he edited!

  2. wish i got in early, and sold before he edited!

  3. as michael says that was probably the whole point of the scheme, alot of his collegues prolly profitted… and no way to prove it LOL… stock market is a ponzi scheme

    wow… but this is hardly NEW to stock markets, just proof of a crime. But its not that people can do this sort of thing thats the problem, as the article states; its that fifty got away with it. And the rules which allow people to do just what fifty did exist for a reason… so people can profit big time and NOT be criminals! Legal Crime Pays Kids!

  4. as michael says that was probably the whole point of the scheme, alot of his collegues prolly profitted… and no way to prove it LOL… stock market is a ponzi scheme

    wow… but this is hardly NEW to stock markets, just proof of a crime. But its not that people can do this sort of thing thats the problem, as the article states; its that fifty got away with it. And the rules which allow people to do just what fifty did exist for a reason… so people can profit big time and NOT be criminals! Legal Crime Pays Kids!

    • sorry meant to say "stock market is like a ponzi scheme, but better; kinda like running a government and getting away with murder"

    • The stock market in not "like a ponzi scheme." A ponzi scheme essentially involves paying off current investors with the money influx of new investors. That's besides the fact that characterizing the stock market, which is an extremely complex and involved arrangement of systems, with a simple analogy is disingenuous at best.

      Second of all, the key idea of a Pump and Dump, is the dump part. 50 cent didn't dump (according to the article), probably because someone informed him of how much trouble he'd be in if he did. But it's nice to know he sell his fans out for what amounts to a paltry sum (his net worth is estimated from 150 mil to 250 mil or so I heard).

      • Perhaps he personally hasn't dumped, but somebody did to drop the price back down that quick again. Have you heard the term "collusion"?

  5. sorry meant to say "stock market is like a ponzi scheme, but better; kinda like running a government and getting away with murder"

  6. The stock market in not "like a ponzi scheme." A ponzi scheme essentially involves paying off current investors with the money influx of new investors. That's besides the fact that characterizing the stock market, which is an extremely complex and involved arrangement of systems, with a simple analogy is disingenuous at best.

    Second of all, the key idea of a Pump and Dump, is the dump part. 50 cent didn't dump (according to the article), probably because someone informed him of how much trouble he'd be in if he did. But it's nice to know he sell his fans out for what amounts to a paltry sum (his net worth is estimated from 150 mil to 250 mil or so I heard).

  7. Perhaps he personally hasn't dumped, but somebody did to drop the price back down that quick again. Have you heard the term "collusion"?

  8. If his projected profits are 8.7 million and his paper profits are 290% then he sunk over 3 and a half million into this project (my math may be sketchy). The article implied that the drop was due to the deletion of the messages on twitter, but it could indeed be a partner dumping (except in these volumes it seems less likely given that they'd have to put in more then his own initial amount which would be affecting the price all on its own). I'm not saying Pump and Dump wasn't his intention or that he didn't colluded with another party, but it seems he got stuck halfway through the project and I would assume he informed the parties he was working with as well. If the SEC thought they had enough to go after him I think they would in this environment.

    As I pointed out he seemed very willing to sell out his fans for a quick almost pointless gain. That isn't a characteristic of someone I find admirable. My point was in response to Lolz's line "just proof of a crime." Being that the crime hadn't actually been committed because 50 never completed it.

  9. I have a web site where I research stocks under five dollars. I have many years of experience with these type of stocks. I would like to comment about so called raper fifty cents recommending that his fans buy into a penny stock which caused the price to sky rocket this would not be illegal if fifty cents were to continue to hold the stock long after he advised his fans to buy the stock. but if a person or an advisor hypes a stock and than immediately sells out of the stock when the news hits the market causing a huge increase in the share price. it would appear that raper fifty cents artifically manipulated the price of a stock on purpose to make a short term profit. I don't believe that we have heard the last of this. I believe the government will take civil or criminal action againsts raper fifty cents in an attempt to prevent future acurrences of this type in the future.

  10. I have a web site where I research stocks under five dollars. I have many years of experience with these type of stocks. I would like to comment about so called raper fifty cents recommending that his fans buy into a penny stock which caused the price to sky rocket this would not be illegal if fifty cents were to continue to hold the stock long after he advised his fans to buy the stock. but if a person or an advisor hypes a stock and than immediately sells out of the stock when the news hits the market causing a huge increase in the share price. it would appear that raper fifty cents artifically manipulated the price of a stock on purpose to make a short term profit. I don't believe that we have heard the last of this. I believe the government will take civil or criminal action againsts raper fifty cents in an attempt to prevent future acurrences of this type in the future.

  11. Or he was perfectly innocent and just excited about his purchase of this firm and wanted to tweet about it. He changed his tweet after he got some excited advice from his lawyer….. Your Honour.

    Besides he probably makes $8.7 million a week.

  12. Or he was perfectly innocent and just excited about his purchase of this firm and wanted to tweet about it. He changed his tweet after he got some excited advice from his lawyer….. Your Honour.

    Besides he probably makes $8.7 million a week.

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