Seven social media influencers accused of orchestrating a $114 million pump-dump-scheme lost their bids to dismiss securities fraud charges, after a federal court in Houston said their allegedly fraudulent statements weren’t protected speech.
“The First Amendment has never been a shield to fraud,” the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas said.
The defendants argued that predictions and opinions aren’t actionable. But a prediction or opinion made in bad faith in furtherance of a conspiracy can be, Judge Andrew S. Hanen said.
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