Sunday, 19 April 2015
Last updated 17 hours ago
Apr 30 2008 | 7:03am ET
A former trader has settled charges that he used a rumor campaign among fellow traders and hedge funds to depress stock prices for his own end, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
Paul Berliner, formerly of the New York proprietary trading firm Schottenfeld Group, was charged in what the SEC characterizes as its first rumormongering case. The agency alleges that he spread false rumors to 31 traders and others about private equity giant The Blackstone Group’s acquisition of credit card processor Alliance Data System.
According to the SEC, he sent instant messages on Nov. 29 claiming that Blackstone was renegotiating the price it would pay for ADS from $81.75 per share to $71 per share, leading to a 17% drop in ADS’ stock price and a more than $20,000 profit for Berliner, who shorted ADS. ADS later recovered the loss after issuing a press release denying the rumor.
Berliner settled without admitting or denying the charges.
“The story disseminated by Mr. Berliner was a figment of his imagination,” Scott Friesad of the SEC Division of Enforcement said. “Conduct like this is particularly insidious because it harms investors by distorting the information they use to make investment decisions.”
Berliner has agreed to pay more than $150,000 in disgorgement, interest and a civil penalty, as well as being barred from association with brokers and dealers.
Mar 20 2015 | 12:45pm ET
StreetWise Partners, a non-profit organization that works with low-income individuals to help them overcome employment barriers, raised over $275,000 at the 2015 Raising the Ante Charity Poker Tournament and Casino Event last Wednesday evening at Capitale. Here are some photos from the event. Read more…