Insider Trading Suspected in Heinz Deal

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

H. J. Heinz Ketchup products line a shelf at a Giant Eagle Market in Pittsburgh Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005. The H. J. Heinz company, best known for it's ketchup, reported a second quarter gain of two percent, and said it is close to selling off several underperforming European companies. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

That didn't take very long. One day after the announcement of the $28 billion acquisition of Heinz, the Security and Exchange Commission believes it has identified traders who may have tried to profit from inside information. The SEC obtained an order freezing a Zurich-based account in which regulators detected unusual trading in Heinz options just before the surprising deal was announced. The account showed $1.7 milion in gains. In recent years, regulators like the SEC have used information technology to track and discipline rogue traders.