From Gaming to Insider Trading: Xbox Case


In a highly unusual turn of events, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unveiled an insider trading case that has sent shockwaves through the financial industry. 

The case involves a former financial analyst, Anthony Viggiano, who allegedly conducted insider trading using Xbox audio chat. The platform is primarily known for online gaming communication.

The Allegations

The SEC has charged four individuals, including Anthony Viggiano, with insider trading of securities. They were accused of exploiting confidential information related to business mergers and acquisitions. Viggiano, who previously worked as an analyst at two financial firms, is alleged to have shared insider information with friends Stephen Forlano, Christopher Salamone, and Nathan Bleckley.

Viggiano is said to have provided Forlano with funds to trade with, seemingly in an attempt to obscure suspicions of insider trading. Other individuals implicated in the case reportedly engaged in insider trading based on information provided by Viggiano, collectively reaping thousands of dollars in trading profits.

The Xbox Connection

Perhaps the most startling aspect of this case is the revelation that insider trading information was communicated through Xbox audio chat. Specifically, Forlano allegedly used Xbox audio chat to relay information from Viggiano to Bleckley. 

During an Xbox audio call believed to have occurred on or before August 31, 2022, Forlano shared the news that the American e-commerce company ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) was soon to be acquired and even disclosed an anticipated share price for the company.

Following this tip, Bleckley took action, purchasing ECOM stock. When the acquisition news became public, ECOM’s stock price surged by over 55%, soaring from $14.70 to $22.79 on the New York Stock Exchange. Taking advantage of this significant price increase, Bleckley promptly sold all 1,057 shares and 50 ECOM call option contracts, ultimately earning $23,003 in profits.

The Financial Impact

The SEC’s complaint also sheds light on other alleged instances of insider trading within this scheme. Christopher Salamone reportedly gained approximately $322,000, while Stephen Forlano pocketed about $114,000. Nathan Bleckley and other individuals involved in these activities are estimated to have made illicit profits totaling roughly $110,000.

While the SEC’s ability to obtain evidence from Xbox audio calls remains somewhat unclear, it is worth noting that Xbox consoles have certain functionalities that raise privacy concerns. These consoles can record, share, and report in-game audio to Microsoft, particularly in cases of inappropriate behavior or violations of the platform’s rules.

However, it’s important to clarify that Xbox employees do not actively listen to audio calls, nor do they store conversations. Kim Kunes, Xbox GM of Trust and Safety, has previously emphasized that recording is strictly carried out through reporting functionality for moderation purposes. These recorded clips cannot be separately saved or shared and are automatically deleted 24 hours after being captured.


The insider trading case involving the use of Xbox audio chat has certainly captured the attention of financial regulators, legal experts, and the public alike. It underscores the evolving nature of financial misconduct and the need for enhanced vigilance in monitoring and preventing such activities. 

As the SEC’s investigation continues, this case shows us that even seemingly unconventional communication channels can be exploited for financial gain, further emphasizing the importance of maintaining the integrity of financial markets.

As authorities investigate the case and assess the full extent of any wrongdoing, the financial industry will be closely watching. We all want to see how this unprecedented use of gaming communication technology impacts future regulations and enforcement efforts against insider trading.

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