The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged four brokers and a day trader for improperly using a squawk box.

According to federal regulators, John J. Amore, a day trader at Watley Group, has been charged with paying off brokers from Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch to allow him to eavesdrop on institutional orders to buy and sell large blocks of securities. Amore, 42, of Manhasset, N.Y., would trade ahead of the large orders and profit from the price movements.

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