Ex-Thomson Reuters Employee Claims Insider Survey Leaks

A former Thomson Reuters Corp. employee filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired for telling the FBI that the company’s “tiered release” of a consumer survey violated insider-trading laws.

Mark Rosenblum said in his complaint, filed today in Manhattan federal court, that he was fired on Aug. 3, soon after complaining to U.S. authorities that the company gave some customers an advantage by releasing the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers to them first. He said he told company executives about his complaint to the federal agents.

“Mere weeks after the report, Rosenblum’s employment with Thomson was terminated with no severance,” the plaintiff, a former redistribution specialist selling financial data, said in his complaint.

Rosenblum, who lives in New Jersey, is seeking unspecified damages for alleged violations of a U.S. whistle-blower law.

“We believe the accusations from the complaint against Thomson Reuters to be unsubstantiated and without merit,” Alan Duerden, a spokesman for New York-based Thomson Reuters, said in an e-mailed statement.

Jim Margolin, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters in providing financial news and information.

Consumer Attitudes

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey measures consumer attitudes and expectations about the U.S. economy. According to Rosenblum, the company releases the survey in three tiers.

At two seconds before 9:55 a.m., it goes to “ultra low-latency subscribers”; “desktop” subscribers get it at 9:55 a.m.; and at 10 a.m. it goes out to the general public, he said.

“By releasing the product to ultra low-latency subscribers two seconds early, those subscribers have a two-second head start to make transactions,” he said in the complaint.

The case is Rosenblum v. Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC, 13-cv-02219, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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