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Feb 28, 2014

Mt. Gox: a quick rise and even faster fall

By Brett Wolf and Emily Flitter

(Reuters) – The collapse of Mt. Gox might appear sudden, but bitcoin insiders say its downfall began nearly a year ago as the virtual currency exchange tangled with regulators, split from former business partners and grappled with cyber attacks.

Mt. Gox’s fall lays bare the difficulties the bitcoin community faces as it tries to square its freewheeling, libertarian ideals with the rigorous regulation required in financial services and customers’ needs for reliable service.

Feb 27, 2014

US attorney subpoenaed Mt Gox, other bitcoin businesses-source

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet
Bharara has sent subpoenas to Mt. Gox, other bitcoin exchanges,
and businesses that deal in bitcoin to seek information on how
they handled recent cyber attacks, a source familiar with the
probe said on Wednesday.

In the attacks – known as distributed denial of service
attacks – hackers overwhelmed bitcoin exchanges by sending
thousands of phantom transactions. At least three exchanges were
forced to halt withdrawals of bitcoins on Feb. 7, including Mt.
Gox, which was the largest at the time.

Feb 27, 2014

U.S. Attorney subpoenaed Mt. Gox, other bitcoin businesses: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has sent subpoenas to Mt. Gox, other bitcoin exchanges, and businesses that deal in bitcoin to seek information on how they handled recent cyber attacks, a source familiar with the probe said on Wednesday.

In the attacks – known as distributed denial of service attacks – hackers overwhelmed bitcoin exchanges by sending thousands of phantom transactions. At least three exchanges were forced to halt withdrawals of bitcoins on February 7, including Mt. Gox, which was the largest at the time.

Feb 26, 2014

U.S. prosecutors investigating bitcoin businesses: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Manhattan U.S. Attorney has sent subpoenas to numerous companies that do business with Mt. Gox and other bitcoin exchanges to seek information on how they handled recent cyber attacks, a source familiar with the probe said on Wednesday.

The office of Preet Bharara subpoenaed Mt. Gox and other businesses to get a better understanding of the nature of the cyber attacks and how the exchanges dealt with them. A spokesman for Bharara declined to comment.

Feb 26, 2014

SEC’s newest enforcement weapon: powerful software

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is beefing up its capacity to detect insider trading and other illegal activity by engaging with Palantir Technologies, a software company originally set up to help foil terrorists, according to people familiar with the matter.

The SEC has embarked on a multi-year deal, worth more than $13 million, to use Palantir to help the agency crunch massive amounts of data, the sources said.

Feb 21, 2014

Former Evercore director charged with insider trading

NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) – A former senior managing
director at Evercore Group was charged on Friday with
securities fraud and other violations for setting up trades in
accounts held by an ex-girlfriend and a close relative based on
secret information he collected at work, according to a court
filing.

Frank Perkins Hixon Jr., 55, was arrested on Friday morning,
according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman. He was
charged with five counts of securities fraud, two counts of
securities fraud in connection with a tender offer and one count
of making a false statement.

Feb 20, 2014

Man called muse for ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ charged with fraud

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) – A man who served prison time
for conning Hollywood stars and reputedly inspired Leonardo
DiCaprio’s performance in “The Wolf of Wall Street” was in
federal court on Thursday facing charges that he used someone
else’s credit card to buy liquor, a plane ticket and food,
according to court filings.

Dana Giacchetto, 51, a former investment advisor to
A-listers like DiCaprio and singer Michael Stipe of the rock
band R.E.M., was charged on Thursday in Manhattan federal court
with two counts of fraud. He surrendered to authorities and was
granted bail at $150,000.

Feb 19, 2014

Hedge fund analyst charged with stealing secret trading algorithms

NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Authorities in New York have
accused a 28-year-old former quantitative analyst of stealing
information about the algorithmic trading models used by the $14
billion hedge fund where he worked, according to court
documents.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance charged the former
analyst, Kang Gao, on Feb. 12 with two counts each of computer
trespassing and unlawful duplication of computer related
material and one count of unauthorized use of secret scientific
material, according to the court filing.

Feb 12, 2014

Cyber attack on bitcoin a big warning to currency’s users

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A massive cyber attack from unknown sources that has been spamming bitcoin exchanges is highlighting some of the dangers people can encounter when they exchange cash for digital currencies like the bitcoin, experts said on Wednesday.

The attack, which is technically known as a distributed denial of service attack, involved thousands of phantom transactions, forcing at least three of the online platforms that store bitcoins and trade them for traditional currencies to halt withdrawals of bitcoins until they can determine which transactions were real.

Feb 12, 2014

Bitcoin hit by denial of service attacks as regulators prepare clampdown

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bitcoin is being hit by attacks from unknown computer hackers who are sending “mutated” lines of code into the program that runs the virtual currency, a spokeswoman from its main trade organization said in a statement on Tuesday.

The attacks are responsible for problems experienced by two bitcoin exchanges that caused them to temporarily halt withdrawals by customers who stored bitcoins in digital wallets provided by the exchanges, the Bitcoin Foundation said in a statement.

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      "Based in New York covering financial crimes, including insider trading, investment scams, accounting fraud and financial firm misconduct."
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