Austin Rotter -Insider Trading and Unethical PR: Review 2023
Austin Rotter is a PR professional who paid over $136,000 to the SEC for insider trading. He used to work with The Trade Desk, a prominent digital marketing firm, and leak its earnings information to his mother, Carol E. Cohen.
The Trade Desk was a client of Austin Rotter at the time. But he didn’t hesitate from violating client privilege to make over $46,000+ in net profit within a few months.
Why is all of this information relevant? Because the SEC charged him in November 2021 and if you Google “Austin Rotter” now, you won’t find any mention of this grave incident.
Instead, you would come across numerous articles praising or writing by him. As a public relations expert, he has buried all of the articles and blogs highlighting his criminal history. Now, he is providing his PR services to other businesses.
However, you should know what kind of a PR expert Austin Rotter truly is and how much he actually values his clients.
The following article goes through his unethical marketing techniques and uncovers how he is trying to deceive gullible business owners by creating a fake persona and hiding his professional history:
What did Austin Rotter Do? More Details on the Crime:
The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) had charged Austin and his mother for insider trading in the stock of The Trade Desk Inc. Both of them agreed to pay over $136k in penalties.
In their complaint, the SEC alleged that Austin’s mother had bought shares of the digital marketing firm according to the non-public information she received from Austin in advance of the company’s positive second-quarter earnings report.
Austin obtained The Trade Desk’s advance earnings information in 2018 through his job at 5W PR. So, he violated the confidentiality agreements which prohibited sharing or using The Trade Desk’s financial information.
Furthermore, he made several phone calls to his mother prior to the company’s announcement.
Cohen had purchased $86,000 worth of shares in the company after the phone calls with her son. Then, she sold them after the company’s share price increased 37% following their public announcement of the earning results. This resulted in generating around $46,000 for the duo in net profit.
The SEC’s complaint charged Austin and Cohen with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Also, it charged them for violating Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
Austin and his mother agreed to pay $136,000 in civil penalties and proposed to settle the matter.
What is SEC?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States is a federal government regulatory agency that works independently. Its main responsibility is to safeguard investors, ensure the securities markets operate in a fair and orderly manner, and facilitate capital formation.
The case made headlines in various business publications:
However, you won’t find the mention of this case anywhere if you google the name of Austin Rotter. Why? Because of the various shady marketing tactics he uses to deceive consumers.
Below are the sketchy marketing tactics Austin has started utilizing:
Austin Rotter 5W History and His Attempt To Bury It
When you visit any of Austin’s websites such as austinrotter.org or austinrotter.com, you would see that he claims to have decades of digital marketing experience. However, he never mentions where he got this experience.
Currently, he has become an entrepreneur. But he doesn’t share the name of his past employer, which is 5W Public Relations.
In fact, if you google “Austin Rotter 5W”, you would see that the search results don’t offer much information associating the two.
Clearly, he is trying to hide his association with the firm because he did insider trading when he was a VP there. So far, the only place where I found a mention of his association with 5W Public Relations was at ZoomInfo:
However, it was rather difficult to find this link because of the various paid PR he has done in his name.
As a public relations professional, he is using multiple shady and illicit tactics to make it seem as if he doesn’t have any criminal history.
He is hiding his professional past so potential clients wouldn’t find out about how he used his clients’ confidential information in the past to make a profit for himself.
How He is Trying to Hide His Criminal History:
The first marketing tactic Austin used to hide his criminal past is by starting his personal website called ‘austinrotter.com’.
He bought the domain name for this website the same month the SEC charged him for insider trading.
Furthermore, with the help of his PR buddies, he has ensured that people don’t find any news articles mentioning his crime.
Austin has paid websites and blogs to post numerous articles using his name. This way, when you google him, you don’t see the news highlighting his insider trading case. Instead, you see a PR expert sharing his opinion on different matters.
These are some of the numerous articles you’ll see when you google his name. He is using guest posts and paid PR articles to clear his name.
That’s because he doesn’t want businesses to know he has a history of sharing confidential financial information with external parties.
There’s nothing wrong in being a public relations specialist. However, when the said PR specialist uses his skills to scam businesses out of their money, then it becomes a huge problem.
Austin Rotter has a history of insider trading and breaching confidentiality. Now, he is using shady PR tactics to deceive businesses and hide any mention of this story.
That’s why it was important to share this news here. As a consumer, you have every right to know about the professional history of a service provider.
Austin Rotter has a criminal history but he is using his PR skills to deceive businesses into thinking he doesn’t have one. He is a dangerous service provider you should be wary of.
- Insider trader
- Paid $136,000+ in civil penalties
- Uses shady marketing tactics to deceive businesses