U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20134 / May 31, 2007
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Lohmus Haavel & Viisemann, et al., Civil Action No. 1:06-CV-1260 (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, C.A. No. 05-9259-RWS)
Court Issues Final Judgment by Consent Against Defendants Oliver Peek and Lohmus Haavel & Viisemann
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on May 30, 2007, Judge Robert W. Sweet of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a Final Judgment against Lohmus Haavel & Viisemann ("LHV"), an Estonian financial services company, and Oliver Peek, a former employee of LHV, who is a citizen and resident of Estonia. LHV and Peek are the remaining defendants in a fraud action filed by the Commission on November 1, 2005. Previously, on August 17, 2006, the court entered a Final Judgment against the only other defendant in the action, Kristjan Lepik, a former partner of LHV who also is a citizen and resident of Estonia.
The Commission alleged in its Complaint that, from at least January 2005 until the scheme was halted by the Commission's filing of an emergency action in the District Court, 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.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's Complaint, Peek and LHV consented to a Final Judgment permanently enjoining them from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Final Judgment also orders Peek to pay disgorgement in the amount of $13,000,000, representing the illegal profits from the alleged scheme, together with a civil penalty of $1,350,000. LHV was also ordered to pay a civil penalty of $650,000.