Former MSD Capital Analyst Arrested After Skipping Trial

Jan 23 2017 | 7:09pm ET

By Nate Raymond (Reuters) - A former analyst at the investment fund of Dell founder Michael Dell was arrested on Monday after he refused to show up for trial to face charges that he made $1.5 million engaging in insider trading.

U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan earlier in the day issued a bench warrant for John Afriyie, a former employee of MSD Capital, after a defense lawyer, Ezra Spilke, said his client was in New Jersey and would not agree to come to court.

"He is going to need to bring his toothbrush," Engelmayer said in court. "Under the circumstances, while I will be happy to hear argument for bail when he is picked up, his non-appearance and non-willingness to appear is a bad fact."

About five hours later, Kevin Kamrowski, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, said Afriyie was in custody and being brought to the courthouse. Engelmayer had said he still planned to have the trial go forward.

Afriyie had been free on a $200,000 bond since his initial arrest last April in what was one of the latest insider trading cases to be announced by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office.

Prosecutors said that in early 2016, Afriyie learned about plans by Apollo Global Management to acquire security company ADT Corp after the private equity firm approached MSD to discuss providing debt financing for the deal.

After he and other MSD employees were emailed about a restriction imposed on trading in ADT stock, Afriyie accessed a shared folder on MSD's network server and obtained information about Apollo's pending deal, prosecutors said.

He then bought ADT call options for $24,254 through a brokerage account in his mother's name, enabling him to earn $1.53 million when the transaction was announced, prosecutors said.

Afriyie has pleaded not guilty to charges of securities fraud and wire fraud.

The case is U.S. v. Afriyie, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-cr-337.

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