ThinkMarkets Sues Former Employee for Data Theft

TF Global Markets (Aust) Limited, the Australian unit of forex broker ThinkMarkets, has filed a lawsuit against its former employee James Sorenson over some serious allegations of data theft and distributing them to its rival.

The 31-page lawsuit filed at an Illinois court detailed that the former employee gained access to several confidential emails between the ThinkMarkets executives, “among other things,” and is suspecting that he had already or will share them with ThinkMarkets rival IS Group.

The mentioned emails were not addressed to Sorenson in any form and could only access them through illegal means.

A Rouge Employee

Sorenson worked at ThinkMarkets’ IT department from December 2015 to October 2, 2020. However, he absconded from his employment with the retail broker without informing anyone. Later, information about him joining the IS Group prompted the Melbourne-based broker to conduct a forensic investigation of his Outlook emails.

ThinkMarkets is alleging that Sorenson gathered sensitive information about it using his administrative privileges. Additionally, he deleted a certain IT repository in a proprietary application without authorization that stored the proprietary code of ThinkMarkets.

Old Rivalry

ThinkMarkets and IS Group are not only healthy business rivals, but they are fighting legal battles in courts as well. The rivalry started in 2017 following the IS’s acquisition of ThinkLiquidity from ThinkMarkets to form IS Risk Analytics. IS alleged that ThinkMarkets breached the acquisition contract as it did not share its trades.

“ThinkMarkets is highly concerned that, among other things, Sorenson has disclosed or will disclose it to his new employer in order to, among other benefits, secure his new employment and otherwise harm ThinkMarkets,” the lawsuit alleged.

Before approaching the court, the brokerage tried to contact the former employee multiple times and even sent notices twice, but did not receive any reply. 

“ThinkMarkets has no choice but to file the instant action to prevent further harm by Sorenson and/or his subsequent employer,” the lawsuit noted.

“Given Sorenson’s deletion of a code repository shortly before his resignation, ThinkMarkets has every reason to believe that these emails are only the tip of the iceberg and that in order to cover his tracks, Sorenson also likely has deleted many more emails that he never should have accessed.”

The broker is now seeking injunctive relief from the court, along with “compensatory damages, double damages for willful misappropriation of trade secrets, punitive damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief.”

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