This Artist Claims to Have Bought $88 Billion of Bank of America Stock

Additional claims say his company raised $1 trillion for an art fund.

A man uses an ATM at a Bank of America branch in Washington, DC on October 19, 2016. Courtesy of ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images.

A Chicago artist named Antonio Lee is behind an “apparent spoof” in which he claimed to have acquired about $88 billion worth of Bank of America stock, with a fake SEC filing, according to a story in Reuters. (Yes, that’s billion.)

Under US Securities and Exchange Commission laws, a person who acquires more than 10 percent of a publicly traded US company’s stock is required to make certain disclosures regarding “beneficial ownership” through SEC filings. According to MarketWatch, Bank of America has a market cap of about $166 billion, which would mean Lee had acquired roughly half of the company by market share.

Reuters reports that the filing, however, “did not appear to influence the stock price of the second-largest U.S. bank.” Securities experts said there was no doubt the filing was a hoax, according to the article.

In the filing, a company called YNOFACE Holdings, purportedly run by Lee, said it acquired 798.4 million shares on August 15, and another 4.2 billion common shares a month later. The artist’s holding company also claims it has raised over $1 trillion for “an art fund”.

A bizarre website for the artist and holding company states, “Consciously or unconsciously, YNoFace Holdings might pause before and refrain from saying anything that would in turn be negative for our clients and partners.” It notes that “the comment period has ended” for its Bank of America project, however. On Twitter, Lee describes himself as an “American Scientific Artist and Entrepreneur.” He is also the author of the e-book, Face Yourself.

According to YNOFACE.com, Lee is a “world renowned artist, and YouTube celebrity specializing in acrylic painting. He is well known for his work in the field of Scientific and Performance Art. Lee is the grandson of renowned African-American artist, Annie Lee. Lee credits inspiration to Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, Annie Lee, Jean Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst.”

artnet News wrote to the artist for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.


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