Ex-Hedge Fund Trader Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading

Feb 28 2008 | 8:02am ET

A former hedge fund trader has pleaded guilty to insider trading alongside his illicit tipster.

David Tavdy, of the now-defunct Jasper Capital, and Mitchel Guttenberg, formerly of UBS’s equity research department, have pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy. The two men were among 13 arrested in a massive insider-trading round-up last March; 12 have since pleaded guilty, including Tavdy’s former boss, Jasper founder David Glass.

Guttenberg, who served on UBS’s investment review committee, admitted passing hundreds of tips to Tavdy and former Chelsea Capital trader Erik Franklin of impending upgrades and downgrades between 2001 and 2006. Tavdy said he made more than 1,100 trades based on Guttenberg’s tips, earning his firm more than $10 million. Chelsea made some $7.5 million on Franklin’s illicit trades.

“Both men paid me for this information,” Guttenberg told the court. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the scheme began when Guttenberg passed Franklin a tip in exchange for Franklin’s forgiving of a $25,000 debt. He eventually made hundreds of thousands of dollars on the scheme.

Guttenberg is to be sentenced on June 2; he faces eight years in prison. Tavdy will be sentenced on June 30, when he faces up to six-and-a-half years in the clink.

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