Nov 13 (Reuters) - U.S. brokerage firm BTIG on Monday sued rival StoneX Group Inc (SNEX.O) in San Francisco, accusing it of stealing trade secrets and seeking at least $200 million in damages.
"Defendant StoneX recruited a team of BTIG traders and software engineers to exfiltrate BTIG software code and proprietary information and take it to StoneX," lawyers for BTIG wrote in the California Superior Court lawsuit.
StoneX used the software code and proprietary information to build competing products and business lines "that generate tens of millions of dollars annually," they alleged in the lawsuit.
StoneX did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment outside of regular business hours. A representative for San Francisco-based BTIG declined to comment on the lawsuit.
BTIG said in the lawsuit that New York-based StoneX had committed "one of the greatest financial-industry trade secret frauds in recent history," and that the scope of its misconduct "is not presently known and may easily exceed a billion dollars."
The complaint said StoneX hired several BTIG employees to steal confidential information that it used to develop its competing trading platform.
It said StoneX "lacked the same level of products for market making, trading, and order execution business" as BTIG, and that StoneX's equities business was declining when it started poaching BTIG traders and software developers in 2020.
The complaint said that StoneX's stock price has increased 60% since it started misusing BTIG's trade secrets.
In addition to monetary damages, BTIG's lawyers also asked the court to issue an injunction to prevent StoneX from using or disclosing BTIG's trade secrets or other proprietary information.