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UPDATE 1-U.S. charges hacker, traders for infiltrating SEC database

Jonathan Stempel

(Adds criminal charges, other details, byline)

Jan 15 (Reuters) - A Ukrainian computer hacker and several others were charged by U.S. authorities on Tuesday over their alleged roles in a scheme to trade on nonpublic corporate earnings news obtained by infiltrating a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission database.

The charges follow the SEC's announcement in September 2017 that it had uncovered a hacking from the prior year into Edgar, its corporate filing database used by publicly traded companies, money managers and others.

Authorities said Oleksandr Ieremenko, 27, of Kiev, and others working with him obtained thousands of "test filings," including roughly 157 earnings announcements, by hacking into Edgar through a Lithuanian server, and then sharing them with a network of traders.

According to the SEC, these traders, comprising eight individuals and companies in the United States, Russia and Ukraine, then reaped more than $4.1 million in illegal gains by trading on the hacked information between May and October 2016.

In a 16-count indictment filed with the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Justice charged Ieremenko and Artem Radchenko, a Ukrainian resident it said recruited traders to the conspiracy, with computer fraud, wire fraud and other crimes.

The SEC filed related civil charges against Ieremenko and the eight trading defendants.

Lawyers for the defendants could not immediately be identified.

According to court papers, Ieremenko has been at large since being criminally charged in 2015 over the theft of more than 150,000 nonpublic corporate press releases from the distributors Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire.

It was not immediately clear whether the latest scheme is the subject of a law enforcement action being announced later Tuesday by the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice. Neither agency immediately responded to requests for comment. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Jonathan Oatis)