Hedge fund manager Michael Tom was sentenced yesterday to three years probation, the first six months to be served in a halfway house, after pleading guilty in February to five counts of insider trading, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston said. He still faces Securities and Exchange Commission action over the stock trades that netted him and his hedge fund, Burlington, Mass.-based Global Time Capital Growth Fund, $750,000.
Tom, a former senior analyst for Citizens Bank, received the fateful phone call on April 28, 2004, from Shengnan Wang, an analyst at Citizens whom Tom helped hire and who invested in Tom’s fund. Wang told Tom that Citizens was on the verge of acquiring a Cleveland-based bank, which Tom determined was Charter One Financial. Then he got down to business, buying shares and call options in 52 transactions.
On May 4, Citizens announced its plans to buy Charter One. The next day, Tom dumped all of his Charter One holdings, after they had soared in value, of course.