U.S. authorities say a 37-year-old Bulgarian man named Nedko Nedev masterminded a yearslong series of stock-market manipulations that used a network of offshore firms and Internet addresses fraudulently to pump up share prices in companies, culminating in a bogus takeover offer for Avon Products Inc. last month.
But Mr. Nedev appears to be a mystery, even at his given address in Bulgaria. “This guy is a phantom,” said Martin Pernikov, a chemistry engineering student who lives in an apartment block where, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Nedev lives.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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