UBS Banker Who Supplied Tips To Insider Trader Has Pretty Good Explanations For Some Aspects Of Crime

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For instance, when asked by attorney Theodore Wells why there was no section on his CV detailing his involvement in insider trading (“Your resume says nothing about how you had deceived people for years, correct?” Wells asked), Nicos Stephanou, an associate director of mergers and acquisitions responded that he just preferred "not to have criminal activities linked to my name," which, sure, makes sense (although there are some shops that would give you an immediate call back if they saw that, and possibly an offer over the phone). It's not that he was embarrassed about sharing the material, non-public information he had at his disposal. Far from it, in fact.

Stephanou, 36, has pleaded guilty and is testifying in exchange for leniency. He said last week that he routinely told friends from New York and his native Cyprus about companies that were to be acquired. Some trades were executed through offshore accounts he set up, and Stephanou and his friends split the profits, he said. “He was a close personal friend of mine and I was happy to help him,” Stephanou said of Joseph Contorinis, the former general partner of the Jefferies Paragon Fund accused of earning more than $7 million and avoiding losses of millions more by trading on tips from Stephanou.

That's just what friends do, okay? They scratch each others' back, they help each other trade on hot tips, they provide alibis when one or the other is accused of knocking off a hobo, and they treat each other to exquisite, unforgettable sushi lunches.

As the deal was being negotiated in December 2005, Stephanou said he alerted Contorinis and other friends to the progress of the talks. Contorinis sold all his Albertsons stock before news that the talks collapsed became public, prosecutors said. After negotiations resumed, and a group that included Cerberus and Supervalu Inc. agreed to buy Albertsons in January 2006, Stephanou testified that he again leaked the news to Contorinis, who immediately bought $45 million in shares.

Days later, Contorinis footed the bill as the two celebrated over sushi at Masa, a restaurant in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center, according to court testimony.

“It was the most, you know, exquisite dinner, sushi dinner I’ve ever had,” Stephanou testified, as prosecutors showed jurors the menu from his $1,000 meal. “I had asked them to send it to me so I’d have it as a reference, as memorabilia,” Stephanou said of the menu.

Galleon Case Defense Gets Trial Run [Bloomberg via DI]

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Convicted Insider Trader Matthew Kluger "Shocked" To Find Out He Couldn't Trust The Guys With Whom He Was Committing Federal Crimes

Remember Matthew Kluger? To recap, he's the mergers and acquisitions lawyer who spent two decades feeding inside information to convicted insider trader Garrett Bauer, that he picked up from partners at the six different law firms he worked at over the years. The operation, which included Kenneth Robinson, an old friend of Kluger who acted as the tips mule between MK and GB, went very smoothly for a very long time (17 years), and would have continued going smoothly had Robinson stuck with the plan instead of deciding to start making the same trades as Bauer, raising suspicion with SEC, which was watching the men and used "relationship analysis" to determine they were "part of the same trading scheme and had a common source: Kluger." In March 2011, federal agents showed up to Robinson's house and after thinking it over for a couple days, he decided to cooperate by giving prosecutors a step-by-step guide to how the scam operated, telling them Kluger's name, and recording conversations with Kluger and Bauer in which the two said things like "I went right up to my apartment and I broke the phone in half and went to McDonald's and put it in two different garbage cans" and "I can't sleep. I can't sleep. I'm waiting for the FBI to ride into my apartment" and "We have to get all the fingerprints off that money. Like you wearing gloves or something and wiping every bill down or something" and "There is no way [these cell phone conversations] could ever be recorded." Robinson was ultimately sentenced to 27 months in prison, Bauer got nine years (despite his 147 speeches about how insider trading is a bad idea on the college lecture), and Kluger was handed 12 years, beating Raj Rajaratnam for "the longest insider trading U.S. history." Recently, Kluger sat down with Bloomberg to offer a few more specifics re: how the scheme went down ("Sometimes it was a deal I was working on, sometimes it was a deal I heard being discussed in the office"; "I would call Ken and say 'X/Y/Z company is considering a takeover of Q company") but what he really wants to talk about? What was the biggest surprise and hardest punch to the gut in all of this? Is what it was like finding out that his buddies were stiffing him on cuts of their ill-gotten gains. "On the day I was arrested, when they showed me the criminal complaint against me, finally that day, I saw the amounts that had been traded and I was absolutely shocked. Our agreement from the beginning was always that that profits were being shared equally three ways. I felt very used and manipulated, that he was basically pumping me for information, that he was then lying to me about how he was using and then allowing his obviously better friend to make millions and millions of dollars while telling me that that was not happening. “Maybe you want to laugh and say of course there’s no honor among thieves,” Kluger added. “But even when you’re doing something you’re not supposed to do, I trusted that they were honoring the commitments that they had made.” You can imagine Kluge's utter dismay to find out that such was not the case. It's one thing to get nailed for insider trading, it's another to find out you could've been making 10 times the profits while doing so.