SEC freezes assets in SoftBank-Fortress insider trading probe

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A sign for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pictured in the foyer of the Fort Worth Regional Office in Fort Worth, Texas June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Stone (Copyright Reuters 2017)

The Security and Exchanges Commission said on Wednesday it froze assets of traders using brokerage accounts in London and Singapore to obtain more than $3.6 million in possibly illegal profits before the announcement that SoftBank Group Corp agreed to acquire Fortress Investment Group.

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"The SEC's emergency action to freeze the proceeds of the traders' highly suspicious transactions within days of the public announcement ensures that the profits cannot be removed from the accounts while the agency's investigation of the trading continues," the SEC said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)