UPDATE: Level Global Founder, SAC Trader Arrested In Insider-Trading Case

Jan 18 2012 | 2:41pm ET

Federal prosecutors today charged seven more people, including three hedge fund traders, as part of a wide-ranging insider-trading investigation.

Four people were arrested, among them Level Global Investors founder Anthony Chiasson, former Diamondback Capital Management portfolio manager Todd Newman, and Jon Horvath, an analyst at SAC Capital Advisors' Sigma Capital Management. The arrests of Chiasson and Newman have been expected since late last year; Horvath is the first current SAC employee charged in either the Galleon Group or expert-network insider-trading cases, which have ensnared more than 50 people.

In addition to the three hedge fund players, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Danny Kuo, a technology fund manager with wealth management firm Whittier Trust, in California. Newman was arrested in Boston and Horvath in New York. Chiasson surrendered to authorities in New York, after FBI agents found that he was not at his home in the city before 6 a.m.

Also charged today were former Level Global analyst Spyridion Adondakis, former Diamondback analyst Jesse Tortora and Sandeep Goyal, formerly of Neuberger Berman Group, all of whom have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors. Fayad Abbasi, a Neuberger Berman analyst against whom prosecutors are building a case, was not charged today. The Securities and Exchange Commission also leveled civil charges against the men.

Adondakis, Horvath, Kuo and Tortora were allegedly members of an insider-trading ring with Abbasi, who worked with Goyal, The Wall Street Journal reports. The group traded tips from 2008 through 2009, "a club where everyone scratched everyone else's back," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

The circle earned more than $60 million in illegal profits, trading on technology names such as Dell Computer and Nvidia. Goyal, a former Dell employee, allegedly served as the primary source of information about that company.

"These are not low-level employees succumbing to temptation by seizing a chance opportunity," SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami said. "These are sophisticated players who built a corrupt network to systematically and methodically obtain and exploit illegal inside information again and again at the expense of law-abiding investors and the integrity of the markets."

The charges stem from the government's ongoing probe into expert-network Primary Global Research. In November 2010, the FBI raided the offices of four hedge funds, including Level Global and Diamondback. Three of those four hedge funds have since closed, with only Diamondback still standing. Neither Diamondback nor any of its current employees have been accused of any wrongdoing.

According to the SEC, Level Global made $72.6 million on illegal trades and Diamondback $3.9 million.

Today's charges bring to 22 the number of people charged in the Primary Global case. Fifteen have pleaded guilty, including several hedge fund managers, and two have been convicted by juries.


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