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Tag: insider trading

FBI Looks into Insider Trading Involving Pro Golfer Phil Mickelson, Billionaire and Gambler

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Pro golfer Phil Mickelson said he’s cooperating with the FBI in an investigation involving allegations of insider trading.

The USA Today reports that investigators are trying to determine whether Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William “Billy” Walters illegally traded on public information from billionaire investor Car Icahn.

Mickelson said he’s cooperating.

“And I’m happy to do so in the future, too, until this gets resolved,” he said in the clubhouse at Muirfield Village.

In a statement released Saturday, Mickelson said: “I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I have cooperated with the government in this investigation and will continue to do so. I wish I could fully discuss this matter, but under the current circumstances it’s just not possible.”

FBI Investigates High-Speed Investors Accused of Potential Market Manipulation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating high-speed trading firms to determine whether they are engaged in insider trading, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The investigation was launched a year ago but remains in the early stages.

Among the focuses is whether high-speed investors are trading using information that others can’t access.

Investigators also are investigating a type of trading in which investors create the false appearance of market activity by placing a group of trades and then canceling them.

“There are many people in government who are very focused on this and who are concerned about it and who think it breaks the law,” an FBI spokesman said. “There is a big concern that high-frequency traders are getting material nonpublic information ahead of others and trading on it.”

Former Enron Chief Executive Skilling Could Have Prison Sentenced Reduced

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department is working on a deal that would reduce the prison sentence of former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey K. Skilling, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Skilling was convicted of insider trading, securities fraud and conspiracy, among other charges, in 2006.

His attorney has been trying to overturn the conviction ever since.

“The Department of Justice is considering entering into a sentencing agreement with the defendant in this matter,” according to a Justice Department note, the LA Times reported. “Such a sentencing agreement could restrict the parties and the Court from recommending, arguing for, or imposing certain sentences or conditions of confinement.”

It’s unclear how much the sentencing would be shortened, if agreed to by a judge, the LA Times wrote.

FBI Probing Suspicious Trading of Heinz Options Just Before Purchase Announcement

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a series of suspiciously well-timed trades just before the $23 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz Co., the New York Times reports.

The probe comes as the Security and Exchange Commission froze a Swiss account tied to possible insider trading.

The New York Times wrote that the well-timed options trades were purchased a day before Berkshire Hathaway and the investment firm 3G Capital agreed to buy Heinz.

Shares and the values of options soared after the announcement.

‘‘The FBI is consulting with the SEC to see if a crime was committed,’’ an FBI spokesman said in a statement.

Analyst Who Mocked FBI’s Crackdown on Insider Trading Gets More Than 4 Years in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former research analyst apparently thought he was untouchable when the FBI began investigating him.

John Kinnucan publicly mocked the bureau’s probe, calling agents “fresh-faced eager beavers.”

Then on Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced Kinnucan to more than four years in prison for insider trading, CNN reports.

Kinnucan, who was outspokenly critical of the government’s insider-trading crackdown, is accused of making at least 25 threats to law enforcement officials over the course of the investigation, CNN wrote.

Kinnucan  “made repeated references to genocide, sexual and other forms of violence” and also tried to talk with witnesses in the case, the FBI said.

“Today’s sentence of John Kinnucan is a fitting conclusion to a criminal odyssey that began with the buying and selling of inside information and evolved into a vile and very public campaign to threaten public servants and obstruct the federal investigation into Kinnucan’s conduct,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement

FBI Lists Most Significant Cases of 2012

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

From espionage to cyber hacking, the FBI has taken on a lot of significant cases in 2012.

The following list was posted by the FBI.

Insider trading: Charges against seven investment professionals were announced in New York in January alleging an insider trading scheme that netted nearly $62 million in illegal profits. Details

California gang takedown: A total of 119 defendants were charged in San Diego in January with federal racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking violations, and federal firearm offenses in one of the largest single gang takedowns in FBI San Diego history. The target was the Mexican Mafia gang and its affiliates.Details

Economic espionage: In February, a federal grand jury in San Francisco charged five individuals and five companies with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in connection with their roles in a long-running effort to obtain U.S. trade secrets for the benefit of companies controlled by the People’s Republic of China. Details

Cyber hackers charged: Several hackers in the U.S. and abroad were charged in New York in March with cyber crimes affecting over a million victims. Four principal members of the hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec were among those indicted; another key member previously pled guilty to similar charges. Details

Anchorage man indicted for murder: In April, Israel Keyes was charged with the kidnapping and murder of an Anchorage barista. Keyes is believed to have committed multiple kidnappings and murders across the country between 2001 and March 2012. In December, after Keyes committed suicide in jail, the FBI requested the public’s help regarding his other victims. Details

Financial fraudster receives 110-year sentence: In June, Allen Stanford—the former chairman of Stanford International Bank—was sentenced in Houston to 110 years in prison for orchestrating a 20-year investment fraud scheme in which he misappropriated $7 billion to finance his personal businesses.Details

Nationwide sweep recovers child victims of prostitution: The FBI and its partners announced the results of Operation Cross Country, a three-day law enforcement action in June in which 79 child victims of prostitution were recovered and more than 100 pimps were arrested. Details

International cyber takedown: Also in June, a two-year FBI undercover cyber operation culminated in the arrest of 24 individuals in eight countries. The investigation focused on “carding” crimes—offenses in which the Internet is used to steal victims’ credit card and bank account information—and was credited with protecting over 400,000 potential cyber crime victims and preventing over $205 million in losses.Details

Health care fraud: In July, global health care company GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty to fraud allegations and failure to report safety data and agreed to pay $3 billion in what officials called the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history. Details

Russian military procurement network: In October, 11 members of a Russian military procurement network operating in the United States and Russia, as well as a Texas-based export company and a Russia-based procurement firm, were indicted in New York and charged with illegally exporting high-tech microelectronics from the U.S. to Russian military and intelligence agencies. Details

FBI: Former Wells Fargo Banker Helped Insider Trading Ring in Exchange for Gold, Cash

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire

 A former Wells Fargo investment banker is accused of tipping off investors in an insider trading scheme in exchange for gold and cash, the FBI announced Thursday.

The banker, John Femenia, was indicted along with eight accused insider traders in an indictment unsealed Thursday.

Femenia, who faces up to 30 years in prison, is accused of stealing private information from the bank that gave investors unfair advantage in the stock market, which is illegal.

Six of the defendants agreed to plead guilty and testify against the others in exchange for lesser charges.

 

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

 

FBI Makes Insider Trading Arrests

By BEN PROTESS and PETER LATTMAN
New York Times

Federal authorities announced insider trading charges against seven people on Wednesday, accusing them of earning nearly $62 million illegally trading on shares of Dell.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested four people across the country as part of the case, an escalation of the government’s aggressive insider trading investigation.

The three other people named in the criminal complaint — Spyridon Adondakis, a former Level Global technology analyst known as Sam; Jesse Tortora, a former Diamondback Capital Management analyst; and Sandeep Goyal, a former junior analyst at Neuberger Berman — are cooperating with the investigation.

To read more click here.

Read statement from head of NY FBI.