Accused Insider-Traders Post Bail As Probe Continues

Jan 19 2012 | 2:10pm ET

The indictment of seven men—including three with hedge fund ties—for insider-trading isn't the end of the federal government's massive investigation that has ensnared more than 60 people.

The rounding up of the fourth insider-trading ring in just over two years—one of the "magnitude of the fraud we proved in the Galleon Group insider-trading scheme," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said—could simply lead to other rings and further arrests.

"Each wave of charges and arrests seems to produce leads that lead us to the next phase," Janice Fedarcyk of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. "This initiative is far from over."

Yesterday, the initiative produced the arrests of four men, among them a co-founder of hedge fund Level Global Investors, a former analyst at Diamondback Capital Management and a trader at SAC Capital Advisors. The three were members of a "criminal club," Bharara said, earning more than $60 million trading Dell Inc. stock alone.

All three men, and a fourth, posted bail yesterday. Anthony Chiasson, the Level Global co-founder, and Jon Horvath of SAC's Sigma Capital Management, arrested in New York, were released on $2.5 million and $750,000 bond, respectively. Todd Newman, formerly of Diamondback, was released on $3 million bond in Boston and Whitter Trust's Danny Kuo on $300,000 bond in California. Chiasson and Horvath, through their lawyers, denied the charges.

The four were charged with conspiracy and securities fraud, and face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

According to prosecutors, Chiasson earned Level Global, which has since closed, $53 million illegally trading Dell shares and Newman earned $3.8 million for Diamondback. Chiasson's trade is "the largest single trade ever charged in the Southern District in an insider-trading case," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Leibowitz said.

The four arrested men were part of an insider-trading ring with three cooperating witnesses, including former Dell employee Sandeep Goyal, the source of the group's insider tips. Goyal was paid about $175,000 for the tips by another one of the cooperating witnesses, Jesse Tortora, a former Diamondback analyst. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also sued the men, adding allegations that they illegally traded Nvidia Corp. shares.

Tortora would pass Goyal's tips to Horvath, Kuo and Newman, prosecutors said, and Adondakis informed his boss, Chiasson.

The latest ring is linked to the Primary Global network case, which netted 15 people, of whom 14 have pleaded guilty or been convicted. One of the cooperating witnesses in that case, Mark Longoria, said he passed tips to one of the cooperating witnesses in the new case, Spyridion Adondakis, and another former Primary Global analyst, Bob Nguyen, who also pleaded guilty, testified that Tortora was a PGR client.

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