Charges Likely Against Level Global Founder, Ex-Diamondback Analyst

Dec 1 2011 | 12:58pm ET

Federal authorities are poised to bring criminal insider-trading charges against as many as three hedge fund employees, including the founder of Level Global Investors.

Anthony Chiasson is one of as many as four people expected to be charged this month, according to published reports. At least some of those charged are expected to plead guilty, as have most people ensnared in recent insider-trading cases.

The new charges stem from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's raid last year of four hedge funds, including Level Global. A former analyst at that now-defunct firm and a friend, a former analyst at another of the raided hedge funds, Diamondback Capital Management, are cooperating with the investigation, which has focused on hedge funds' use of expert networks to obtain confidential information.

What is more, further charges against others—and involving other hedge funds—are possible, as authorities are continuing to sift through the evidence collected, including wiretap evidence. According to a May court filing, the government has information on at least 50 hedge funds from the wiretaps.

In addition to Chiasson, those likely facing charges include former Diamondback trader Todd Newman and Neuberger Berman Group's Fayed Abbasi. Abbasi formerly worked with the cooperating witnesses, identified by The Wall Street Journal as Spyridon Adondakis and Jesse Tortora, at Prudential Equity Group.

Tortora was previously identified as the target of the raid against Diamondback, the only one of the four raided hedge funds still in business.

Twelve of the 15 people charged in the case, which centers on expert-network Primary Global Research, have pleaded guilty. Two others have been convicted.

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