U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19810 / August 22, 2006
SEC v. Lohmus Haavel & Viisemann, et al., (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, C.A. No. 05-9259-RWS)
Court Enters Final Judgment by Consent Against Defendant Kristjan Lepik
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on August 17, 2006, Judge Robert W. Sweet of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Final Judgment against Kristjan Lepik, a defendant in a fraud action filed by the Commission on November 1, 2005.
The Commission brought its action against Lepik, a citizen and resident of Estonia, Lohmus Haavel & Viisemann ("LHV"), an Estonian financial services firm in which Lepik was a partner, and Oliver Peek, an employee of LHV who also is a citizen and resident of Estonia. In its Complaint the Commission alleged that the defendants conducted a fraudulent scheme involving the electronic theft and trading in advance of more than 360 confidential, non-public press releases issued by more than 200 U.S. public companies. The Commission alleged that the defendants illegally traded on confidential, non-public information fraudulently stolen from the website of Business Wire, a leading commercial disseminator of news releases and regulatory filings for companies and groups throughout the world, and since January 2005 made at least $7.8 million in illegal profits. The Complaint also alleges that the defendants engaged in similar conduct in connection with other disseminators of information.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's Complaint, Lepik consented to a Final Judgment permanently enjoining him from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Final Judgment also orders Lepik to pay disgorgement in the amount of $551,958, representing his share of the illegal profits from the alleged scheme, together with prejudgment interest of $10,181. Lepik was also ordered to pay a civil penalty of $15,000. The amount of Lepik's civil penalty was determined, in part, based on his level of cooperation with the Commission and on his financial condition, as represented in his sworn representations and other documents and information submitted to the Commission.
For further information, please see Litigation Release Number 19450.