Posts Tagged ‘insider trading’

FSA fines two more over Greenlight insider trading after David Einhorn / Siim

03/02/2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , | This post has no Comments

The Telegraph writes that two more individuals connected to US hedge fund Greenlight Capital have been fined over a multi-million pound insider-dealing case.

The City regulator fined Alexander Ten-Holter, Greenlight’s compliance officer, £130,000 and JP Morgan trader Caspar Agnew £65,000.

Both individuals were censured for failing to either identify or ask questions about Greenlight’s trading in Punch Taverns. The hedge fund sold significant tranches of Punch shares knowing the company was about to raise money, a move almost certain to drive Punch’s shares down.

Despite being told by a Greenlight analyst that the hedge fund had just spoken to Punch management and knew “secret bad things”, Mr Ten-Holter “took no steps to satisfy himself that the order was not based on inside information,” according to the FSA.

The regulator said Mr Agnew also became aware that Greenlight may have been trading on inside information but failed to act. Mr Agnew said he thought Greenlight was just “fortunate” in its timing.

Greenlight founder David Einhorn was fined £7.2m together with his fund for insider dealing. The fine’s size and action against the compliance officer shows a ramping up of FSA enforcement.

Read whole story …

Galleon Chief Rajaratnam Sentenced to 11-Year Term in Insider Case / Mait

14/10/2011. Tags: , , , , , | This post has no Comments

New York Times writes about the fallen hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam received the longest prison sentence ever for insider trading on Thursday, capping an aggressive government campaign that has ensnared dozens and may help deter the illegal use of confidential information on Wall Street.

Judge Richard J. Holwell of Federal District Court in Manhattan sentenced Mr. Rajaratnam, 54, the former head of the Galleon Group hedge fund, to 11 years in prison. A jury convicted Mr. Rajaratnam of securities fraud and conspiracy in May after a two-month trial.

“Insider trading is an assault on the free markets,” said Judge Holwell, who also imposed a $10 million fine and ordered Mr. Rajaratnam to forfeit $53.8 million in ill-gotten profits. “His crimes reflect a virus in our business culture that needs to be eradicated.”

The sentence was a watershed moment in a two-year push by federal prosecutors. Over that period, Preet S. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, has brought charges against 54 people with insider trading crimes. Of those, 50 have been either pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial. Three others’ situations are pending, and the fourth is a fugitive.

Yet the crackdown on insider trading — a crime whose victims are not always apparent — has come at a time when many Americans have questioned why authorities have not pursued charges against bank executives over their role in the financial crisis, which still weighs on the economy.

Read the whole story …

SEC Charges Former Goldman Sachs Employee and His Father with Insider Trading / Martin

23/09/2011. Tags: , , , , | This post has no Comments

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former Goldman, Sachs & Co. employee and his father with insider trading on confidential information about Goldman’s trading strategies and intentions that he learned while working on the firm’s exchange-traded funds (ETF) desk.

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that Spencer D. Mindlin obtained non-public details about Goldman’s plans to purchase and sell large amounts of securities underlying the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT). He tipped his father Alfred C. Mindlin, a certified public accountant. Father and son then illegally traded in four different securities underlying the XRT with knowledge of massive, market-moving trades in these securities that Goldman would later execute.

The case marks the SEC’s first insider trading enforcement action involving ETFs.

“With his father’s helping hand, Spencer Mindlin exploited his inside knowledge of Goldman’s complex hedging strategies to line his own pockets,” said George S. Canellos, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.

Sanjay Wadhwa, Associate Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office and Deputy Chief of the Market Abuse Unit, added, “We are aggressively working to identify and prosecute illegal insider trading across multiple markets and derivatives products regardless of the complexity of the trading pattern that we have to unravel in our investigations.”

According to the SEC’s order instituting proceedings against the Mindlins, the insider trading occurred in December 2007 and March 2008. Goldman was the largest institutional holder of the XRT in order to allow its customers to short the XRT. To hedge its long position in the XRT, Goldman shorted the individual securities underlying the XRT.

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that by virtue of his position on Goldman’s ETF desk, Spencer Mindlin knew Goldman’s current nonpublic position in the XRT and Goldman’s nonpublic plans to trade large amounts of securities underlying the XRT in order to hedge its position in the XRT. Spencer and Alfred Mindlin began purchasing and selling the four individual securities underlying the XRT within months after Spencer Mindlin joined Goldman’s ETF desk. They placed almost all of their trades in a brokerage account in the name of another family member. Spencer Mindlin failed to disclose his and his father’s trading to Goldman.

According to the SEC’s order, Spencer Mindlin learned on multiple occasions about Goldman’s trading intentions through e-mail communications he received shortly before he and his father placed their trades. In one instance when Alfred Mindlin phoned TD Ameritrade to upgrade the family member’s account to allow for the trading of options, he received a call on another line from Spencer Mindlin while on hold with the TD Ameritrade representative. Because the TD Ameritrade call was recorded, Spencer and Alfred Mindlin’s conversation discussing a trade was captured on tape. In later instances, Spencer Mindlin impersonated his father on at least four calls to TD Ameritrade. On one call, he instructed the firm not to execute a trade too early in the day because this would “chew into my profit – my profit on this trade.” The Mindlins obtained at least $57,000 in illicit profits through their insider trading.

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that by engaging in the misconduct described in the SEC’s order, the Mindlins willfully violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The proceedings will determine what relief, if any, is in the public interest against the Mindlins, including disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest, financial penalties, and other remedial relief.

NYC judge sent Wall Street hedge fund manager to jail / Siim

23/05/2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , | This post has no Comments

MSNBC wrote: A former top executive at a $1 billion hedge fund investment firm was sentenced to more than two years in prison Friday in the first sentencing to result from what prosecutors have called the largest hedge fund insider trading case in history.

Mark Kurland, 61, of Mount Kisco, N.Y., was sentenced Friday to two years and three months in prison and ordered to forfeit the $900,000 he made through illegal trades by a judge who blamed the attitudes of people like Kurland on the country’s financial collapse two years ago.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said Kurland, a co-founder of New Castle Partners hedge fund in Manhattan, “frankly should have known better” than to join an inside trading scheme that led to the arrests of top executives including one-time billionaire Raj Rajaratnam.

“He had a choice as a leader of the financial industry. He could have led by example. Instead, he chose to follow. He became a joiner, surrendering to the spree of the financial market’s virtual mob mentality that nearly brought down this country’s financial industry in the quest for ever bigger and faster gains,” Marrero said.

Kurland, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud, was among 11 people who have pleaded guilty in the case. Many of the others had agreed to cooperate with the government, a step which delays their sentencing.

Rajaratnam, the portfolio manager for the Galleon Group hedge fund, has pleaded not guilty and disputed government claims that he pocketed as much as $50 million through a network of cheating executives at financial firms and companies privy to inside information.

The judge criticized pleas for leniency on Kurland’s behalf on the grounds that he had a minimal role, that he did not benefit much financially, that others were more at fault and that there was no real harm to the markets.

Read the whole story >

Former Cazenove partner found guilty of insider dealing / Ahto

14/03/2010. Tags: , , , , | This post has no Comments

Malcolm Calvert, a former equities marketmaker at stock broker Cazenove, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court on five counts of insider dealing according to UK FSA. Calvert made approximately £103,883 profit from the trades that took place between June 2003 and October 2004.

The case is the third successful prosecution for insider dealing bought by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and is part of its ongoing drive to tackle market abuse and promote efficient, orderly and fair markets.

The prosecution is also notable for the involvement of a key witness, Bertie Hatcher – a friend of Calvert – who agreed to provide evidence in the trial having been involved in the illicit dealings himself.

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA, said:

“This is another milestone in our fight against market abuse. It’s a misconception that insider dealing is a victimless crime: it damages the very confidence and trust our markets operate on and it must be stopped.”

“The guilty verdict is a shot across the bow for any city workers who may be tempted to trade using insider knowledge. Our message is simple: if you take part in such activity, you run a very real risk of the FSA taking criminal action against you.”

The full sentencing and confiscation hearing will took place on Thursday 11th March.

The FSA also announced that it has fined Hatcher, a retired bookmaker and insurance broker from Ipswich, £56,098 for market abuse, and published details of the agreement it made with him which led to his assistance in the prosecution of Calvert.

The FSA found that between 2003 and 2005 Hatcher had profited from inside information, using it to buy and sell about 420,000 shares in six companies. The fine represents the full disgorgement of his share of the net profit from these trades.

As part of a settlement with the FSA, Hatcher agreed to provide ongoing assistance to the investigation. In return, the FSA agreed to sanction Hatcher using its regulatory powers rather than a criminal prosecution; Hatcher’s fine was also reduced substantially owing to his cooperation.

Ms Cole continued:

“Hatcher took part in illicit trades using inside information and profited from them; because of this he has received a significant fine. However we were also mindful of the need to encourage others to come forward and assist in the investigation and prosecution of insider dealing and market abuse – especially where it is suspected that two or more people have been involved – and that is why we made an agreement with him.

“Hatcher provided valuable evidence to the FSA, not just about his own misconduct, but also in relation to Calvert. We will continue to enter into agreements of this sort where we believe it is in the public interest and interests of justice for the FSA to do so.”

Source: FSA UK Homepage

Two City workers face fine and ban after insider trading / Martin

13/01/2010. Tags: , , , , , | This post has no Comments

The Guardian wrote that two City workers face fines and a ban from the Square Mile after they used inside information to make more than £85,000 from spread betting on shares.

Robin Chhabra, a former research analyst at Evolution, and his friend Sameer Patel, an investment manager at General Motors Asset Management, were found by a City tribunal to have colluded in using confidential information to make quick profits.

Their punishment is yet to be decided because they had been disputing a finding by the Financial Services Authority that they had committed market abuse. However, the financial services and markets tribunal, which rules on disputes between the FSA and individuals and firms facing regulatory action, upheld the FSA’s case.

Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “Chhabra and Patel’s behaviour fell far short of that expected of approved persons. By repeatedly giving Patel privileged information, Chhabra breached the trust of his clients and his employer.

“Patel exploited this information to try to make a quick profit at the expense of other investors. Market abuse is a serious matter and the FSA will continue to pursue and take action against anyone who believes they can make easy money off the back of confidential information.”

The tribunal will hold a new hearing on the “penalties and prohibition orders” against the two men, both aged 38. They have known each other for more than 20 years, acting as each other’s best man, and between 20 April and 3 August 2004 had 165 “telephone contacts”.

Patel, who was using his own money to trade, made £85,541 after placing spread bets on ebookers and Eidos shares following tips from Chhabra, who received inside information at Evolution where he covered 20 stocks.

Some of the gains were made when the companies issued profits warnings during the middle of the trading day – an unusual occurrence, rather than 7am – the tribunal was told by the FSA.

Read the whole story >>

Swedbank employee suspected of insider trading / Mait

28/11/2009. Tags: , , , , , | This post has no Comments

BalticBusinessNews writes that Swedbank employee suspected of insider trading. Anton Uustalu, 27-year-old former employee of client relations department of Swedbank, is one of the suspects in insider trading scheme with Eesti Telekom stock.

Priit Perens, general manager of Swedbank Eesti, said that he could not comment the case and suggested that Äripäev asked the prosecution for comment. “Uustalu left on the mutual agreement,” was all that Perens said, without elaborating why Uustalu’s employment contract was terminated.

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