Ex-Millennium Manager Denies CDS Insider-Trading Allegations

Apr 12 2010 | 1:31pm ET

A former Millennium Partners hedge fund manager denied any wrongdoing, taking the stand in his own defense at the first-ever insider-trading trial involving credit-default swaps.

Renato Negrin, who the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges made $1.2 million four years ago trading on non-public information about a bond offering from Dutch media company VNU Group, told the judge presiding over the non-jury trial, “I know that I would not have traded on inside-information.”

Negrin was tipped off by Deutsche Bank Securities CDS salesman Jon-Paul Rorech, his co-defendant, according to the regulator. Rorech is on administrative leave from the German bank.

“Salesmen are on the other side of the Chinese Wall, and whatever information they have is assumed to be public,” Negrim testified. But he admitted he could not explain why he and Rorech moved the conversation to cell phones, admitting that such a practice was “unusual.”

Neither Millennium nor Deutsche Bank is accused of wrongdoing in the case.

Regardless of the content of the SEC case against them, both Negrin and Rorech have argued that the SEC has no jurisdiction over CDS; the defense says the contracts are not securities.

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