A Sydney-based IT consultant has been charged with gaining unauthorised access to a financial publisher and using the data “to engage in insider trading”.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said that Steven Oakes faced court in Melbourne today but was not required to enter a plea.
The matter was adjourned until June 25 for a committal mention.
ASIC alleges that between January 2012 and February 2016, Oakes “gained unauthorised access to inside information from the private computer network of a Melbourne-based financial publisher, with the intention of using this information to engage in insider trading”.
“The inside information was recommendations to buy particular shares that were about to be published in stock recommendation reports,” ASIC said in a statement.
“ASIC alleges that Oakes then used this information on 70 occasions to buy shares in 52 different ASX-listed companies before the ‘buy’ recommendations for the shares in those companies were published.
“He made profits from selling the shares a short time later, following the reports’ publication,” ASIC alleged.
ASIC also alleged that Oakes “concealed, destroyed, mutilated or altered … electronic devices required to be produced to ASIC in connection with its investigation” in March 2016.
The charge sheet includes 43 "serious computer offences under s477.1(1) of the Criminal Code for unauthorised access to data held in a computer with the intention to commit a serious offence", ASIC said.