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Sean Wygovsky

Sean Wygovsky charged in multimillion-dollar insider trading case in U.S.

A Toronto trader Sean Wygovsky , working at a Canadian asset management company has been charged in the U.S. for insider trading and running a multimillion-dollar front-running scheme.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Sean Wygovsky with both wire fraud and securities fraud tied to the front-running scheme. Also, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Mr. Wygovsky with violating antifraud provisions of federal securities laws through the scheme, which lasted until as recently as April of this year and netted over $3.6 million in illicit gains.

Mr. Wygovsky was arrested in Austin, Texas, on Friday morning.

Russell Duncan, Mr. Wygovsky’s attorney, said that he hasn’t had a chance to review the charge papers or meet with his client, but that they would respond in court after he has done that.

While the agencies didn’t name the firm that employed Mr. Wygovsky, a LinkedIn profile for Sean Wygovsky lists him as a senior analyst and trader at Toronto-based Polar Asset Management Partners Inc.

The U.S. Department of Justice claims Sean Wygovsky engaged in securities and wire fraud as part of a scheme where he allegedly stole confidential information about his employer’s trade orders to make hundreds of personal trades in the same stocks.

The department claims in New York court filings that 40-year-old Wygovsky made $3.6 million between January 2015 and April 2021 using five accounts in the names of three of his relatives to hide his identity.

The department outlined a pattern where it alleges those accounts would buy high quantities of stocks and then sell them for a profit later that day when Wygovsky’s employer executed an order to buy, increasing the value of the shares.

Investigators uncovered more than 700 trades that follow this pattern and instances where money was transferred from accounts in the relatives’ names to ones in Wygovsky’s name.

A release from the department does not name Wygovsky’s employer, but a LinkedIn profile lists someone with his name as a senior analyst and trader at Polar Asset Management Partners Inc. during the years the allegations allegedly took place.

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