Fayad Abbasi, the Neuberger Berman Group research analyst reportedly facing criminal insider-trading charges, has been put on paid leave by the mutual fund firm.
Abbasi is one of a handful of individuals, including Level Global Investors co-founder Anthony Chiasson and former Diamondback Capital Management trader Todd Newman, likely to be arrested and charged this month. Abbasi formerly worked at Prudential Equity Group with two cooperating witnesses in the case, including one, Jesse Tortora, said to be the focus of the raid last November against Diamondback.
Neuberger Berman said in a statement that it learned of the investigation into Abbasi, who has still not been accused of any wrongdoing, "through a news report," despite the fact that Abbasi was named during the trial of former Primary Global Research sales executive James Fleischman. Fleishman was convicted of connecting money managers, including hedge fund managers, with corporate insiders to facilitate the exchange of confidential information. The case, one of the largest insider-trading investigations in U.S. history, has already produced charges against 15 people, including a number of hedge fund managers and analysts who have already pleaded guilty.
"If there is an inquiry, our firm will cooperate with authorities," Neuberger Berman said in a statement.
At Fleishman's trial, Abbasi was identified as one of a group of Primary Global clients to receive confidential information from Fleishman via e-mail.