A group U.S. stock traders have been arrested and face two federal indictments after they hired Ukrainian-based computer hackers to gain access to corporate press releases before company news went public.
The nine stock traders reportedly earned $30 million from their illegal operation and they now face corruption charges.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is also expected to announce civil charges in the near future.
The traders gained access Marketwired, PR Newswire and Business Wire. Those agencies are used by some of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States to distribute earnings reports and other major news such as acquisitions, sales, etc.
Traders used unreleased information from Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, Ford Motor, Bank of America, and Home Depot.
According to the criminal proceedings, the hacks occurred between 2010 and 2013. Once the hacks were discovered officials from the Department of Homeland Security launched an investigation which led to the nine traders. Other agencies also joined in on the investigation.
There were also four other unindicted co-conspirators who were involved in securities trading on the hacked releases.
No further details have been released at this time.