Ukrainian Pleads Guilty To Stealing Press Releases For Insider Trading

In largest known cyber securities fraud to date, hackers and traders made $30 million from unreleased press releases.

A Ukrainian pleaded guilty to stealing unpublished press releases and using them for insider trading that netted more than $30 million in profits for him and his collaborators, the US Department of Justice said Monday. 

In the biggest known incident of hacking and securities fraud to date, Vadym Iermolovych, 28, of Kiev, Ukraine, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to a three count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and aggravated identity theft, according to a DOJ press release.

The press release reported that Iermolovych and his accomplices broke into the computers of newswire agencies – Marketwired LP, PR Newswire Association LLC and Business Wire – and stole around 150,000 yet-to-be released press releases between 2010 and 2015.

The information in these documents, pertaining to companies traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ, were passed on to  co-conspirator stock market traders in the US, which gave them an edge over others in the stock market and allowed them to collect millions of dollars in profit while working in “extremely short windows of time”.

Iermolovych, who faces a prison term of around 20 years, will be sentenced in August.

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