Up Front: IN THE PITS
CALL IT OUTSIDER TRADING
THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW gets longer. In an unusual move, the Securities & Exchange Commission has charged foreigners--two Swedish citizens--with insider trading. Stefan Hislop and Erik Hylander had no contact with the U.S. except via trades on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Their broker was Swedish, they resided in Sweden, and they traded in non-U.S. companies.
The SEC says the Swedes bagged an estimated $920,000 in illegal profits from options transactions related to a 1989 proposed merger of two shipping companies, Stena Finans of Gothenberg, Sweden, and Bermuda-based Sea Containers. Hislop, a Stena employee, relayed info to Hylander, a foreign-currency broker who allegedly executed the trades. If the feds prevail, they will go after the defendants' assets. Both men were convicted in Sweden of tax evasion for not reporting trading profits. Hislop's lawyer couldn't be reached. Hylander's says his client has paid for wrongdoing and should be left alone. EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Linda Himelstein and Paula Dwyer