Another challenge that we and our international counterparts face simply boils down to human ingenuity and its application to wrongdoing. Simply put, the increasing sophistication of bad actors never seems to lag. One area where we’ve seen this is in schemes to obtain material, nonpublic information by hacking into computer networks and then trading based on the stolen information. In one such case, the SEC charged dozens of defendants – located in the U.S. and abroad – including two Ukrainian men who allegedly hacked into U.S. newswire services and sold material nonpublic information to traders in Russia, Ukraine, Malta, Cyprus, France, and the U.S.
In another case, the SEC charged three Chinese traders with fraudulently trading on hacked nonpublic market-moving information stolen from two prominent New York-based law firms. International cooperation was essential to our efforts in cracking both schemes. Through the assistance of international partners, we were able to freeze millions of dollars of illegal trading proceeds. But these cases also illustrate how sophisticated these hacking-to-trade schemes can be. These schemes threaten the integrity of worldwide markets. Investigating and prosecuting them must be a shared priority among the SEC and its international partners.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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