Bloomberg News scoops tied to criminal insider trading case

A Bloomberg financial terminal. (Photo courtesy Dan Macy via Flickr)Macy

A Bloomberg News reporter has been tied to a criminal case involving allegations of insider trading.

The reporter, Ed Hammond, is accused of providing material, non-public information to Jason Peltz, a key employee at a Wall Street financial firm, before that information was published in news articles distributed by Bloomberg.

Peltz was indicted on several federal charges last month after the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined he used the information provided by Hammond to his financial benefit.

Specifically, Peltz is accused of conspiring with others at his firm to execute trades in early 2016 based on information obtained from Hammond.

Hammond is not named in a federal grand jury indictment handed down last month, but the dates of articles referenced in the indictment coupled with other facts quickly led other reporters to identify him as the journalist at the center of the case.

Hammond and Bloomberg have not yet been accused of any criminal wrongdoing, and a Bloomberg spokesperson told competing news outlets that the reporter is still held in high regard at the company.

“Ed Hammond is a very accomplished reporter,” a Bloomberg spokesperson said. “We’re not aware of any facts to suggest any wrongdoing on his part.”

At the time of the alleged malfeasance, Hammond was fresh on the job as a financial deals reporter for Bloomberg, a coveted position that pressures journalists to land “scoops” on companies, especially public ones.

Bloomberg offers these news scoops to business professionals through a specially-designed computer called a terminal. The terminal runs Bloomberg’s proprietary financial analysis software and costs around $25,000 a year to lease.

Bloomberg’s internal manual instructs reporters not to use news scoops to their own financial benefit and forbids them from providing that information to other individuals

The company’s policy does allow journalists to provide a limited amount of non-public information to others in order to verify it as accurate or seek comment from those who might have general knowledge about an issue.

It was not clear from the indictment if Hammond provided the information to Peltz for comment, verification or something else.