A Sydney-based IT consultant has been charged with 115 offences for allegedly accessing the network of a Melbourne-based financial publisher with the intention of using the information to engage in insider trading.
The charges include alleged unauthorised access to data held in a computer, insider trading, and destroying or concealing books required by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
ASIC, Australia's corporate regulator, announced on 14 May that a hearing for the case against the IT consultant was listed at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on the same date.
In its legal action, ASIC alleges that in January 2012, Steven Oakes gained unauthorised access to inside information from the private computer network of a Melbourne-based financial publisher.
The inside information included recommendations to buy particular shares that were about to be published in stock recommendation reports.
ASIC alleges that Oakes then used this information on 70 occasions to buy shares in 52 different Australian Securities Exchange (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 also alleges that in March 2016, Oakes concealed, destroyed, mutilated or altered ‘books’ in the form of electronic devices required to be produced to ASIC in connection with its investigation.
The IT consultant is facing charges including 43 serious computer offences for unauthorised access to data; 70 insider trading; and two offences for conduct that resulted in the concealment, destruction, mutilation or alteration of books required by ASIC.
The case is ongoing and was adjourned to 25 June 2018 for committal mention.