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When it comes to prop trading, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. At least that's what T3 Trading Group COO Nadav Sapeika must have been thinking when he attempted this bizarre plot to gain access to competitor Chimera Securities' trading platform. There's no telling what he planned to do once he got access to their system.

So how does one gain access to a competitor's trading platform? Well, Sapeika clearly thought it was as easy as setting up a bogus LinkedIn account using an alias nearly identical to the competitor's Managing Member's name. And then opening up a Gmail account using the same alias. And then emailing Lightspeed (the platform vendor) from that Gmail account and saying, "Hey, uh, it's me and I happen to have misplaced my login credentials. Can you, uh, do me a favor and email them back to me?"

Lightspeed was obviously on the ball because they didn't fall for it. And I'm betting they didn't really think anything of it the first time. But Sapeika didn't quit. He kept emailing them until they either 1) told the guy from Chimera who was being impersonated, or 2) told the regulators. In either case, Sapeika got bounced for 90 days and then gets two years of "special" supervision when he comes back.

Oh, and he has to take an ethics class (bwahahahhahahaha).

One of the firms I worked for got into some trouble a couple years before I started and they were under "special" supervision when I came to work. What that meant was that we had to pay an outside firm to tap our phones and listen in to our conversations whenever they wanted to. The regulators had the same ability. So I might be pitching a client and unbeknownst to me, the NFA was on the line at the same time. Which is no big deal cuz I'm not a scumbag. I'm guessing this is the kind of "special" supervision Sapeika is gonna have to get used to.

Part of me doesn't want to go too hard on the guy, because I've done my share of shady stuff to screw my competition over the years. But this really was pretty dumb. Impersonating the Managing Member of a rival firm for any purpose more nefarious than sending a dozen pizzas to their office unannounced is guaranteed to backfire on you. Imagine the trouble he'd be in right now if he'd been successful in gaining access to their trading platform. He'd probably be looking at jail time.

So the moral of the story, kids, is keep it above board when dealing with the competition. I'm not saying don't play hard - you should play like a champion every day. Just don't compromise yourself and your career by taking an ill-advised and unethical shortcut. It's only gonna bite you in the ass.

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Comments (8)

  • duffmt6's picture

    Is this real life? This reminds me of a story of some well known hedge fund manager (forget who exactly) who used to troll the Yahoo! message boards pumping up or trashing certain stocks.

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • In reply to duffmt6
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    duffmt6 wrote:
    Is this real life? This reminds me of a story of some well known hedge fund manager (forget who exactly) who used to troll the Yahoo! message boards pumping up or trashing certain stocks.

    Dude, that strategy fucking worked for a very long time (seriously, like 1999-2000 something). Yahoo message boards were the only game in town at the time and people used to throw some wacky shit out there. Some of the best flame wars I've witnessed in the history of the Internet were on Yahoo stock message boards.

  • frooter's picture

    I hear apple will report KILLER earnings tmrw...eps 150$/share

  • frooter's picture

    the new thing is to do this at conferences or on CNBC (See Ackman/Einhorn/Icahn...and many more)

  • kraziazi's picture

    If you're an idiot ... you're gonna have a bad time.

    Achilles was only as strong as his heel.

  • UFOinsider's picture

    Edmundo Braverman wrote:
    So the moral of the story, kids, is keep it above board ......OR DON'T BE STUPID AND GET CAUGHT, AND KNOW WHEN TO QUIT WHILE YOU'RE AHEAD

    fixed that for you

    Get busy living

  • In reply to duffmt6
    milehigh's picture

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  • MonkeyBars's picture