TALLINN - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ruled last week that a former broker of an Estonian investment bank must return some 6.7 million kroons (428,000 euros) in illegal income.
According to reports, the commission decided that Kristjan Lepik, a former employee of LHV, an investment bank, would have to relinquish the funds since they were earned on stock trades involving insider information. In addition, Lepik is being fined 183,000 kroons.
However, Lepik told the Baltic News Service that, in accordance to an extra-judicial agreement, the investigation in his case has been terminated. "The agreement does not mean I am guilty, and it doesn't set any restrictions to my further activity," he said.
The SEC claimed that Lepik and his colleague, Oliver Peek, used a computer program to gain access to financial information on listed companies on Business Wire, a Web site that had not yet been made public.
The U.S. agency said by trading on some 200 U.S. companies Lepik and Peek earned at least $7.8 million thanks to this confidential insider information.
Peek has denied any wrongdoing.