(TheBlaze/AP) — In late October 2013, Panera Bread Co., the national chain of restaurants that specializes in healthy soups and baked goods, prepared a news release to announce it was adjusting its earnings expectations downward for the recently begun fourth quarter. The release undoubtedly was one of many sent by publicly traded companies to business news services for publication. This one was different, though. While an unsuspecting investing public awaited the announcement, federal authorities say a group comprising computer hackers and stock traders already had seen the release in the computer system of Marketwired, the Toronto business newswire. Using the crucial information in the release, the group allegedly made $17 million worth of trades and orders betting Panera’s stock would lose value once the news went public. They were correct, and for their efforts walked away with nearly $1 million in profit, according to a criminal indictment unsealed Tuesday against nine people in the U.S. and Ukraine. “This cyber hacking scheme is one of the most intricate and sophisticated trading rings that we have ever seen, spanning the globe and involving dozens of individuals and entities,” Andrew Ceresney, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, said in a […]
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