Thursday, November 03, 2005

SEC accuses Estonian firm of financial news hack

Dan Ilet writes in C|Net News:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused an Estonian financial firm and two of its employees of carrying out a fraudulent hacking scheme that netted them at least $7.8 million.

The SEC filed an "emergency federal court action" against Estonian financial services firm Lohmus Haavel & Viisemann and employees Oliver Peek, 24, and Kristjan Lepik, 28.

The agency accused the two of using a so-called spider program to steal information related to more than 360 embargoed press releases in advance of their official distribution date from news and PR Web site Business Wire.

A statement from the SEC claims the stolen information allowed the two to time their trades around the release of news involving mergers, earnings and regulatory action. Using U.S. accounts, the defendants allegedly bought stocks long or sold short.


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