When the copy trading world goes viral: How the copy trader was taken down
The copy trader who was forced to pay more than $1.5 million for using a fake trading account to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Victorian trading company is on trial in Sydney’s Magistrates Court.
Christopher Wills, from Cairns, pleaded guilty to stealing from the Trade and Trading Post in the city’s north-west in June 2014.
The court heard that Wills used the account to buy and sell shares in a trading company owned by a Chinese company that was being sued by the Victorian government.
Wills used a fake account to gain access to the trading company’s computers, which were connected to his real account, prosecutors said.
In return for the shares, Wills bought shares from the trading firm, prosecutors alleged.
But the defendant’s scheme was exposed after he was forced by his lawyer to pay a $1,500 fine, and the court heard he is being held in custody.
‘He’s not a thief’: Justice Matthew Smith, who sentenced Wills to six months in jail, said the defendant is a ‘hardworking man’ who does his best to help the community.
“He’s a good man,” Justice Smith said of Wills.
His lawyer told the court he had no idea the defendant was a fraudster, and was not prepared to pay the fine.
He also said the trial was a long way from his client being a thief.
Prosecutor Jennifer Moller said Wills was working as a copy trader when he used a bogus trading account.
Moller told the trial Wills took a break from his job to use the account, and then he used the trading account as his own trading account, before he was caught.
She said Wicks accounts were in the public domain and he was not a person who was seeking to profit from fraud.
Ms Moller urged the court not to view the accused as a thief because Wills had no criminal history and he had not been charged with a crime.
Mr Justice Smith described the defendant as a hardworking man, and said he had a passion for trading.
Justice Smith said he did not want the defendant to get too far ahead of himself in his sentence, but he was mindful the defendant had done little in prison to improve his life.
”He has done a lot to try to get back on his feet,” he said.