ITG's former chief executive, Robert Gasser, is seeking $13 million from the execution broker three months after being forced out over a dark pool scandal.
Gasser left ITG over the summer over claims he failed to disclose to the firm's board details of alleged improprieties related to a dark pool. The company ended up paying $20.3 million to settle SEC charges that it operated a secret dealing desk and misused the confidential trading information of dark pool subscribers.
In a company filing seen by the Wall Street Journal, ITG says that Gasser is now seeking $5 million in punitive damages and $8 million of equity and damages over his ousting.
According to the SEC investigation, ITG publicly claimed to be an agency-only broker, yet ran a secret proprietary trading desk dubbed 'Project Omega' for more than a year.
Not only this, despite promising its dark pool subscribers that their trading information was confidential, for eight months Project Omega was accessing live order and execution feeds by connecting to a software utility used by ITG's sales and support teams.
The information was used to shape the firm's algorithmic trading strategies, with Project Omega trading approximately 1.3 billion shares. One of the HFT strategies even traded against subscribers in ITG's own Posit dark pool.