Financial News

  • 13 May 2014, 2:55

Insider Trading 'Scam' Uncovered On LinkedIn

An alleged insider trading scam was busted when a LinkedIn connection was spotted between a senior bank boss and a government statistics employee.

National Australia Bank (NAB) director Lukas Kamay is accused of making bets on the Australian dollar just seconds before announcements of economic news, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Foreign exchange broker Owen Kerr spotted that Kamay was LinkedIn friends with an employee at Australia's Bureau of Statistics called Chris Hill, and was making money from inside information.

Mr Kerr said: "That was when it suddenly clicked that this guy was only trading ABS data and had a man on the inside.

"(The trades) were really an all-or-nothing bet and not something someone would normally rationally make."

He tipped off police and a nine-month surveillance operation was launched, which ended with the arrests of Kamay and Hill on Friday.

Hill is alleged to have provided confidential information - including housing and building approval figures - before it was released at 11.30am on selected days.

It has been reported that up to $7m AUS (3.9m) was made by Kamay, who allegedly offered Hill a bribe of $50,000 AUS (27,750) to disclose the inside information.

Kamay now faces seven criminal charges.

The assets of both men have been frozen, including Kamay's luxury apartment.

NAB has pointed out that "no NAB money, no NAB customer money or NAB systems" was used in the alleged scam.

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