SEC settles claims

NEW YORK: A Moscow-based hedge fund manager, his investment firms and two Paris-based funds have agreed to pay nearly $18 million to resolve a US regulator’s claims that they engaged in insider trading using hacked press releases from newswire services. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosed the deal with David Amaryan and his funds and the separate accord with Guibor SA and Omega 26 Investments Ltd in France in papers filed in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday. They were among 43 defendants sued by the SEC since August in connection with what it says was the theft of more than 150,000 press releases from Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire before the corporate news became public. The SEC said the scheme resulted in more than $100 million of illegal profit over a roughly five-year period. Three men have pleaded guilty in related criminal proceedings.