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Teen stock schemer enters politics
After paying a six-figure fine for stock market manipulation, a bright young man runs for office.
May 12, 2003: 11:23 AM EDT
By David Futrelle, Money Magazine Staff Writer

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - At the tender age of 15, Jonathan Lebed made headlines after the feds charged him with running an Internet stock-manipulation scheme.

He settled the case, paying nearly $300,000 in fines -- a hefty sum, but less than half of what he was said to have pocketed trading stocks. Now, all of 18 and still living with his parents, Lebed is again in the news -- as a candidate for the Cedar Grove (N.J.) Township council.

To those who think he's a tad too fresh-faced for the job, he responds, "I've been attending council meetings and writing letters to newspapers since I was 14."

Lebed says he hopes to find "creative or innovative ways" to fix the township's budget problems and build a community center to give seniors and teens like him -- well, maybe not that much like him -- someplace to go.

What about his past?

"I never was found guilty," Lebed notes. If anything, voters will "see me as smart and knowledgeable because of my experience with the stock market."  Top of page

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