The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged four brokers and a day trader for improperly using a squawk box, the internal Wall Street communications system.

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.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.