International hacker sued for (alleged) insider trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission in the US has taken the unusual step of suing a Hong Kong-headquartered company and its chief executive, alleging the firm made more than $2.7 million by hacking into computer systems to retrieve press releases prior to their release and improperly trading on that non-public information.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, the SEC alleged that Blue Bottle Ltd - which has its registered office in London - and Matthew Charles Stokes, its chief executive, "made improper trades in at least 12 different publicly traded US companies prior to the publication of press releases since January."

According to the Associated Press, Stokes, aged 30, is a citizen of Guernsey and is the sole owner and CEO of Blue Bottle Ltd.

The newswire adds that Blue Bottle allegedly made the trades through an online account opened in November...