Trio who traded using hacked info from EDGAR system settle with SEC
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced settlements with Sungjin Cho, Ivan Olefir, and Capyield Systems, Ltd., an entity controlled by Olefir, who were charged with trading on nonpublic corporate earnings information hacked from the SEC’s EDGAR system.
Let’s recall that the complaint in this case was filed in January 2019. The SEC’s complaint charged nine defendants for participating in a scheme to hack into the SEC’s EDGAR system and extract nonpublic information to use for illegal trading. The SEC charged a Ukrainian hacker, six individual traders in California, Ukraine, and Russia, and two entities.
The complaint alleged that a Ukrainian hacker gained access in 2016 and extracted EDGAR files containing nonpublic earnings results. From July to October 2016, Cho, Olefir, and Capyield allegedly traded on the basis of this hacked information in the narrow window of time between when the files were extracted from EDGAR and when the information was released to the public. They also allegedly previously traded based on material nonpublic information obtained through the hack of at least two newswire services.
The SEC confirmed on November 5, 2020 that Cho, Olefir and Capyield consented to the entry of final judgments which would permanently enjoin them from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. Additionally, Cho and Olefir agreed to conduct-based injunctions limiting their ability to trade U.S.-listed securities and derivatives.
Cho agreed to pay a civil penalty of $175,000, and Olefir and Capyield agreed to pay a joint and several penalty of $250,000. The SEC will also move to dismiss its case against relief defendant Kyungja Cho, whose trading in the scheme was directed by Sungjin Cho.
The settlements are subject to court approval.