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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.

Feb 6, 2014

‘Loeb effect’ buoys social media site for investors

BOSTON/NEW YORK, Feb 6 (Reuters) – In the past, billionaire
investor Daniel Loeb would often wait for an industry conference
before revealing his investment ideas. Not anymore.

The hedge fund manager and some other prominent investors
have now turned to Harvest Exchange, a new website designed for
investors, to release news of their big bets. Such announcements
– including Loeb’s bet on Dow Chemicals and Kyle Bass’ bet on
General Motors — often lead to big swings in share prices as
other investors pile on.

Feb 5, 2014

Forex probe widens as New York banking regulator steps in

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky is seeking documents from some of the biggest banks in foreign exchange trading, including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Barclays, a source familiar with the matter said Wednesday, as a global probe into possible market manipulation widens.

At least seven other law enforcement offices and regulators internationally are investigating whether banks rigged the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency markets. Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, said on Tuesday that his watchdog group’s probe could extend into 2015, and that the allegations it is looking into are “every bit as bad” as the Libor manipulation scandal.

Feb 4, 2014

Exclusive: Deutsche fires three New York forex traders – source

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank AG DBKGN.DE has fired three New York-based currency traders, in the latest sign that a probe over alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets is gathering steam, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Diego Moraiz, Robert Wallden and Christopher Fahy were terminated by the bank, which told trading floor staff of the development on Tuesday, according to the source.

Feb 4, 2014

New U.S. charge for man accused in underground online drugs market

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors unveiled a new charge on Tuesday against the man they accuse of creating the underground online drugs marketplace known as Silk Road, potentially adding years of prison time if he were convicted.

In an indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan, 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht is charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise by acting as organizer and supervisor of at least five others who were violating a law against drug trafficking. The new charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

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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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