Transaction designed to make it appear that a purchase and sale has occurred even though no change in ownership occurred. For example, an investor might simultaneously buy and sell shares in one company through two different brokerage firms in order to create the appearance of substantial trading activity that will draw in other investors. Wash trades are illegal.
Match trading, is similar to wash trading, but usually a computer is used to pair-up shares of the same value to buy and sell to increase stock activity. At the end of each fiscal year, companies produce a prospectus for prospective buyers summarizing the company’s goals, assets, debts, and financial risks to help buyers decide whether or not they should invest in a company. Sometimes companies produce false prospectus misrepresenting risks or losses to influence potential shareholders to invest.