A Ukrainian man has become the first computer hacker to plead guilty in what US authorities called a worldwide scheme to hack into services that distribute corporate news releases, and use stolen information to conduct insider trading.
Vadym Iermolovych, 28, of Kievm, on Monday joined three traders in admitting criminal wrongdoing over the largest known hacking scheme designed to game financial markets, resulting in more than $100 million of alleged illegal profit.
The defendant had not previously been linked publicly to the alleged theft of more than 150,000 news releases from Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire from February 2010 to August 2015, and subsequent trades based on the stolen content.
Ten defendants, including three hackers and seven traders, have been criminally charged by federal prosecutors in New Jersey and Brooklyn.
More than 40 individuals and entities were also charged civilly by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Iermolovych pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and aggravated identity theft, US Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey said.
K. Anthony Thomas, a public defender representing Iermolovych, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.