Another defendant in the massive stock trading scheme that used information from hacked news releases has reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC announced Tuesday.
Concorde Bermuda Ltd., based in Ukraine, has agreed to pay $4.2 million for its part in the scheme that used information from news releases obtained before the information was released to the public to make stock trades. The affair involved 34 defendants, many based in Ukraine, two of whom have already agreed to pay $30 million in disgorgement. None of the defendants has admitted or denied guilt.
In August last year, the SEC filed a civil action in the U.S District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the court entered an asset freeze and other emergency relief against Concorde and others. Concorde is alleged to have made approximately $3.6 million buying and selling stock on the basis of hacked press releases stolen from two newswire services between 2010 and 2014, and to have made additional profits trading on press releases stolen from a third newswire service in 2015.
In some instances, the hackers and the people they fed the information to acted within the few minutes available to them between the time they obtained the news releases about changes in stock prices and the time the information was released to the public, the SEC says.
By getting an early look at the information before its public release, the traders allegedly generated more than $100 million of illegal profits over a five-year period.
SEC litigation against the other defendants is pending.