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The Courts

Hacker Could Keep Money from Insider Trading 152

Reservoir Hill brings us a New York Times story about a man who will be allowed to keep the money he gained through hacking into a computer system in order to gain early access to a company's earnings statement. From the Times: "On Oct. 17, 2007, someone hacked into a computer system that had information on an earnings announcement to be made by IMS Health a few hours later. Minutes after the breach of computer security, Mr. Dorozhko invested $41,671 in put options that would expire worthless three days later unless IMS shares plunged before that. The next morning the share price did plunge, and Mr. Dorozhko made his money by selling the puts. 'Dorozhko's alleged "stealing and trading" or "hacking and trading" does not amount to a violation' of securities laws, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of United States District Court ruled last month. Although he may have broken laws by stealing the information, the judge concluded, 'Dorozhko did not breach any fiduciary or similar duty "in connection with" the purchase or sale of a security.' She ordered the S.E.C. to let him have his profits."

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The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.