Indian-American in US' insider trading case
Washington: An Indian-American is among four persons charged by US authorities as part of a wide-ranging investigation involving the multi-billion-dollar Galleon Group hedge fund scam, the biggest insider trading case in the country.
Sunil Bhalla, a senior executive with Polycom, along with three others was named in fresh charges filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Monday.
Out of the four charged in the case, the SEC alleged, Robert Feinblatt, a co- founder and principal of New York-based hedge fund investment adviser Trivium Capital Management LLC, and Trivium analyst Jeffrey Yokuty engaged in insider trading in the securities of Polycom, Hilton, Google and Kronos.
Bhalla along with Shammara Hussain, an employee at investor relations consulting firm Market Street Partners that did work for Google, tipped the inside information that enabled the insider trading by Feinblatt and Yokuty on behalf of Trivium's hedge funds for illicit profits of more than USD 15 million.
The action against the four individuals "reveals disturbingly corrupt arrangements ' faithless company executives who secretly pass corporate information to hedge fund managers willing to violate the law for profit," said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.
"Market participants need to understand that by engaging in such behaviour they invite SEC scrutiny, and we will uncover their conduct and take aggressive action," he said.
With Monday's charges, SEC has now charged 27 defendants in its Galleon enforcement action amid allegations of widespread and repeated insider trading at numerous hedge funds including Galleon's a multi-billion dollar New York hedge fund complex founded and controlled by Raj Rajaratnam and by other professional traders in the securities of 14 companies generating illicit profits totaling approximately USD 69 million.
The Galleon Group's founder Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan, was charged with insider trading in 2009. He has pleaded not guilty.
In the complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, the SEC alleged that Feinblatt and Yokuty traded on behalf of Trivium in connection with two corporate takeovers and two quarterly earnings announcements based on material nonpublic information that Feinblatt and Yokuty allegedly received from Roomy Khan, an individual investor who herself received such information from various sources.