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Insider Trader Arrested After He Googled 'Insider Trading,' Authorities Allege 124

Spy Handler writes: Fei Yan, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 31-year-old Chinese citizen, was arrested by federal authorities on Wednesday on insider trading charges. Mr. Yan used Google to search for phrases such as "how sec detect unusual trade" and "insider trading with international account." He also allegedly read an article titled "Want to Commit Insider Trading? Here's How Not to Do It," according to the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. Further reading: Associated Press, CNBC, USA Today

Insider Trader Arrested After He Googled 'Insider Trading,' Authorities Allege

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Really? Waiting for the crime here....

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 13, 2017 @08:52PM (#54805381)

      Fuck. I just got arrested for clicking on this story.

      • He was also arrested after eating breakfast.
        • by slick7 ( 1703596 )
          Thou shalt not steal... the gutter-mint don't like no competition.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            The linked story said he made 120k from insider information he got from his Wife who is a lawyer working in a law firm.

            Quite clear cut. The searches he did is proof of intent. The search is not the crime.

            • Straight from the CNBC article: "Prosecutors say Yan searched "how sec detect unusual trade" before he bought numerous stocks and options that netted him around $120,000 in illicit profits."

              Fucking "Spy Handler" and BeauHD left that important bit out of the clickbait summary just to make things sound a whole lot more inflammatory than they really are and get some views and outraged comments onto this once-popular but now dying former tech news site.

            • by martinX ( 672498 )

              The real crime was the story summary posted on Slashdot. For crimes against communication like this, the people need to be represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          He was also arrested after eating breakfast.

          Because he was a cereal killer?

    • by Cyberglich ( 525256 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @08:53PM (#54805389)
      RTFA he made bank on 2 mergers last year that is wifes firm was involved in . Thats sketchy as hell. Add the searches to that and you have probable cause to do some major digging.
    • by Paradise Pete ( 33184 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @11:43PM (#54806171) Journal

      So... he was charged with reading?

      If so then clearly you have nothing to worry about.

      • by espre ( 4249591 )

        So... he was charged with reading?

        If so then clearly you have nothing to worry about.

        Huh, the person may not comprehend your sarcasm either! :)

    • "Yanâ(TM)s wife worked as an associate at the international firm Linklaters, which is based in London. Linklaters was working on acquisition deals involving the two companies Yan profited from"

      He made $120,000 by trading on firms that were involved in acquisitions that his wife was handling. And then he searched for ways to get away with insider trading.

      What part of that doesn't look like a goddamn crime to you?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's what I want to know. Just like that missing person case in PA unfolding right now where it turns they caught the guy because they had him and his victims recorded in a license plate recorder somewhere.

    • They got them after seizing his computer, after he was arrested on the charges. He wasn't arrested because of the searches.

  • Maybe he was doing it for, you know, science, and not business?
    • Maybe he was doing it for, you know, science, and not business?

      Claiming he was doing "research on a book about hypocrisy in America" didn't keep Bernie Ward [wikipedia.org] from being convicted of distributing child pornography.

  • Why did Google report the searches to the SEC? Did he short their stock or something? ;-)
    • by dunkindave ( 1801608 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:04PM (#54805451)

      Why did Google report the searches to the SEC? Did he short their stock or something? ;-)

      Google didn't report it, they found that he did those searches after they were already looking at him, at least that is what the article implies since it is scant on details. My question though is how they know about the searches? Was it forensics on his computer, or did they get the search history from Google? I'm betting the former.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Good point. The police likely found the search queries in his browser history.

        I hope that was the case. Because the alternative that anyone under investigation is granted a search warrant to look through the petabytes of information Google collects on all of us would be really over the top.

        • Look at https://myactivity.google.com/... [google.com] if given a user name does not look like it is hard for google to display what you did.
          • Look at https://myactivity.google.com/... [google.com] if given a user name does not look like it is hard for google to display what you did.

            No, but Google won't provide that data without a search warrant or subpoena, properly issued by a court. In a criminal case like this, they'd have to have probable cause to think there's evidence in his search history before the court would issue the warrant needed to get it from Google.

            It's more likely they got a warrant to search his computer, and found the searches in the browser history.

      • After tracing the trades to him. He made phone calls to the brokerage firm and they found that the name on the account was his mother. They subpoenaed his search results on google and yahoo. I would guess that is now standard procedure.
  • Yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:25PM (#54805537)
    We need a new dilbert cartoon. The creator can fuck off though.
  • Title is misleading. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:26PM (#54805543)

    After flagging the trades as suspicious through data analysis, the SEC traced them back to Yan.

    The SEC was already on his trail by the time they found out about his search history.

  • it's not insider trading if a member of Congress did it (or if it happens at a Country Club). Those billionaire investors are just really, really skilled and you're just jealous. Above all the game is not rigged. Nothing to see. Move along.
    • If wanna get in on the billionaire insider action, just buy Berkshire Hathaway shares. Warren Buffet knows a lot of shit that you don't, he's got connections. So when he makes money, YOU make money.

  • Step 1: Don't use your standard work or personal computer, in non incgonito or otherwise browser history tracking mode, to Google, with your google account signed in, phrases such as "Insider trading", "how sec detect unusual trade", or however it is you googled this article to begin with... you dumbass.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Just don't.
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
    It's a good thing I'm not a criminal, because if they look at my search history over the years they will find all sorts of queries that any reasonably intelligent and therefore curious person could make. I guess this is just the prosecutor trick of finding every single scrap of dirt on the guy being prosecuted and building a case, but I'm pretty sure that not everyone who hypothetically looks up how to make explosives actually makes explosives... otherwise this planet is in deep trouble.
  • by waynemcdougall ( 631415 ) <slashdot@codeworks.gen.nz> on Friday July 14, 2017 @03:36AM (#54806703) Homepage

    I'll read the fine article as a nice break from my assignment on file system design.

    I'll just close this tab on "Everything Hans Reiser Did Wrong and What to Avoid"

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