Level Global Settles Insider-Trading Case

Apr 30 2013 | 1:04pm ET

Level Global Investors, whose co-founder was convicted of insider trading in December, will pay more than $21.5 million to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based firm settled allegations that the co-founder, Anthony Chiasson, and Chiasson's analyst illegally traded Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. shares in 2008 and 2009, as part of a wide-ranging insider-trading circle that included other hedge funds. Level Global's offices were raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with that probe in November 2010, and the hedge fund closed its doors several months later.

Level Global neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The settlement includes almost $10.1 million in disgorgement and an equivalent civil penalty, and will be paid by the firm's management, rather than its investors.

"The insider trading at Level Global was hardly an isolated event—it occurred repeatedly, and involved multiple companies and multiple quarterly announcements," Sanjay Wadhwa of the SEC's New York office, said. "This settlement serves as another reminder that the SEC will hold hedge fund managers accountable when their employees violate the securities laws."

Chiasson was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy in December, in part thanks to the testimony of his analyst, Spyridion Adondakis, who pleaded guilty. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced next month.

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