In a surprising turn of events, a former Goldman Sachs investment analyst, Anthony Viggiano, and two of his friends have been indicted for insider trading. What makes this case unique is the alleged method used to communicate and pass on illegal information. Viggiano is said to have tipped off his friends about big financial deals using encrypted messaging and, remarkably, the audio chat feature of an Xbox console. The FBI secretly recorded Viggiano admitting to the illegal activity and specifically mentioning that using Xbox 360 chat would make it untraceable.
According to the indictment, Viggiano, his childhood friend Christopher Salamone, and his college buddy Stephen Forlano managed to make at least $400,000 from their insider trading scheme before being caught. While it is unclear whether an Xbox 360 was actually used, the government claims that Viggiano utilized “a video game console’s audio chat” to disclose confidential information. The indictment also reveals that Forlano informed a contact that ChannelAdvisor was going to be acquired and disclosed the likely acquisition price using this method.
The audacity of these individuals is evident throughout the indictment. Despite the availability of more secure communication channels, Viggiano chose to rely on Xbox 360 chat, believing it would leave no trace. This case serves as a reminder that even seemingly secure platforms can be vulnerable, as law enforcement agencies can employ various means to gather evidence. It remains to be seen what consequences these individuals will face for their brazen actions and whether this incident prompts greater scrutiny of communication methods for potential illegal activities.