On 16 February it was reported by the WSJ that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether short sellers have been sharing negative research reports in order to drive down stock prices.
- DOJ investigation led in part by the US Attorney's Office in Los Angeles
- Seized hardware, communications, and trading records of some firms
- Firms say the DOJ is relying on academic research by Columbia Law School professor Joshua Mitts; Mitts is advising the government investigators
- DOJ is looking at "spoofing" and "scalping" tactics; both illegal