Accused Insider Trader Doug Whitman Made A Halfhearted Attempt At The Faux Sympathy Route In Pumping Depressed Informant For Inside Information

Shortly before losing his patience and wondering aloud what the hell she was good for if not bringing him hot tips. FBI informant Roomy Khan, 53, told jury that she gleaned illegal tips on Polycom’s earnings from Sunil Bhalla, a former Polycom exec who was placed on leave in 2009. She then passed those tips to Whitman [Capital founder Doug Whitman] and a handful of other hedgie pals, including convicted Galleon Group co-founder Raj Rajaratnam and her bosses at Trivium Capital Management...“You know what would make you feel better?” Whitman asked Khan when she started complaining about her lot in life. “Calling Sunil and getting a good call on Polycom and being able to short it.” “Yeah, but I could go to jail for doing that, too,” Khan said. “You’re not going to be a slimeball, what do I want to talk to you for,” Whitman said. Roomy Not Slimy [NYP]
Author:
Updated:
Original:

...Before losing his patience and wondering aloud what the hell she was good for if not bringing him hot tips.

FBI informant Roomy Khan, 53, told jury that she gleaned illegal tips on Polycom’s earnings from Sunil Bhalla, a former Polycom exec who was placed on leave in 2009. She then passed those tips to Whitman [Capital founder Doug Whitman] and a handful of other hedgie pals, including convicted Galleon Group co-founder Raj Rajaratnam and her bosses at Trivium Capital Management...“You know what would make you feel better?” Whitman asked Khan when she started complaining about her lot in life. “Calling Sunil and getting a good call on Polycom and being able to short it.” “Yeah, but I could go to jail for doing that, too,” Khan said. “[If] you’re not going to be a slimeball, what do I want to talk to you for,” Whitman said.

Roomy Not Slimy [NYP]

Related

Maybe Accused Insider Trader Timothy McGee Thought Intel Obtained In AA Meetings Got A Free Pass Under Securities Laws?

Pop quiz: you're an insider trader looking to score some fresh intel. You've exhausted all of your sources and what's more, you're sick of just hitting them up for tips-- you want to make obtaining material non-public information fun again. You figure the best way to go about that is to identify a target with obvious vulnerabilities that can be exploited for profit (always a good time). Do you a) go with the Danielle Chiesi move (i.e. requesting info post or, better yet, mid-coitus) b) get ordained as a Catholic priest and press penitents for potential market moving news during confession or c) go for broke: start attending AA meetings, become someone's sponsor and then, when he/she's confiding in you that the stress of his/her job at a certain company has been driving him/her to down a bottle of vodka every night, move in for the kill? If you're Timothy J. McGee, the answer is simple. The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two financial advisors and three others in their circle of family and friends with insider trading for more than $1.8 million in illicit profits based on confidential information about a Philadelphia-based insurance holding company’s merger negotiations with a Japanese firm. The SEC alleges that Timothy J. McGee and Michael W. Zirinsky, who are registered representatives at Ameriprise Financial Services, illegally traded in the stock of Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp. (PHLY) based on nonpublic information about the company’s impending merger with Tokio Marine Holdings. McGee obtained the inside information from a PHLY senior executive who was confiding in him through their relationship at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) about pressures he was confronting at work. McGee then purchased PHLY stock in advance of the merger announcement on July 23, 2008, and made a $292,128 profit when the stock price jumped 64 percent that day. “McGee stole information shared with him in the utmost confidence, and as securities industry professionals he and Zirinsky clearly knew better,” said Elaine C. Greenberg, Associate Director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office. “As this case demonstrates, we will follow each link in a tipping chain all the way to Hong Kong if necessary.” From the complaint: In early July 2008, immediately after an AA meeting, the Insider confined to McGee that he had been drinking as a result of the mounting pressure, and revealed to McGee that the source of the pressure was ongoing confidential negotiations to sell PHLY. The Insider told McGee that the stress generated from his participation in the negotiations was having a negative impact on his personal life. In response, McGee expressed interest in the details of the PHLY sale and questioned the Insider about the details fo the impending deal. SEC Charges Five With Insider Trading on Confidential Merger Negotiations Between Philadelphia Company and Japanese Firm [SEC]

Members Of Insider Trading "Club" Were Good At Obtaining Material Non-Public Information, Not So Good At Playing It Cool On Conversations Recorded By The Feds

Later this week, Anthony Chiasson, a Level Global co-founder, and Todd Newman, a former Diamondback portfolio manager, will go to trial in Federal Court for allegedly making $67 million in ill-gotten gains, based on inside information they obtained about Nvidia Corp and Dell Inc. According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Chiasson and Newman, who've both pleaded not guilty, were able to rack up all their profits by teaming up with a bunch of friends and forming an insider trading club, which is a lot like a book club or fight club in that they took roll, traded canapé duties, and drank Pinot Grigio, but different in that instead of discussing The Art Of Fielding or punching each other in the face, they spent every Monday night from 7 to 9 sharing material non-public information with each other. “This case describes a tight-knit circle of greed on the part of professionals willing to traffic in confidential information,” Bharara said when the charges were announced in January. “It was a circle of friends who essentially formed a criminal club, whose purpose was profit and whose members regularly bartered inside information.” In the beginning, when the club was first formed, there was a spirit of camaraderie, as the club members happily traded tips for everyone's mutual benefit. Unfortunately, things started to break down when some people agreed to cooperate with the government by recording their friends admitting wrongdoing, in exchange for leniency. Former Diamondback analyst Jesse Tortora, for instance, gave fellow club member Danny Kuo a call at the direction of the FBI on December 1, 2010, a conversation that Chiasson and Newman's lawyers are trying to use as evidence that Tortora, who will be testifying against them, lacks credibility, based on the fact that when asked by Kuo if his phone was being tapped, Tortora didn't say "Yup! Helping the Feds build a case against you, actually." “What’s happening, man?” Tortora asked during the call, according to a transcript prosecutors submitted to the court. “Dude, is your phone tapped?” Kuo replied. “Wait, is the phone tapped?” Tortora asked, adding, “Why do you ask that?” Despite losing major points for repeating the question-- you never repeat the question!-- and the extremely unconvincing "Oh, why do you ask" attempt to act natural and not like he was working for the government, Tortora ultimately recovered. After Kuo and Tortora discussed defense strategy to explain their trades were made after legitimate research, Kuo concluded the call with a final warning to Tortora about making future calls from a personal telephone, according to the transcript. “I would seriously invest in some quarters, and start calling from 7-Elevens,” Kuo said. Hedge Fund Founder Faces Jury as FBI Raids Yield Trial [Bloomberg]

Accused Insider Trader Gave Ill-Gotten Gains To The Homeless

And for this he should do time? Gautham Shankar, of New Canaan, Connecticut, who also worked as a trader at Schottenfeld Group LLC, is scheduled to be sentenced later today by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in New York. Shankar, who faces as long as 25 years in prison, earned less than $450,000 in the insider-trading scheme, his lawyer said. Shankar, who worked on the sales desk at Goldman Sachs from July 2000 until February 2003, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and a count of securities fraud in October 2009. He admitted that while working at Schottenfeld, he passed and profited from illegal tips he obtained from Zvi Goffer, a former Galleon Group LLC employee, and Thomas Hardin, a former analyst at Lanexa Global Management. “As the government learned during its meetings with Mr. Shankar, he has always, quite literally, given large sums of money away to the homeless on the streets of New York, including cash given to him by his co-conspirators for passing tips from Hardin,” his lawyer, Frederick Sosinsky, said in court papers.Helped People “From bringing the homeless a cup of coffee in the morning and sharing time with them to handing them hundreds of dollars at a time, Mr. Shankar has always been unable to simply walk past those in the most distress,” Sosinsky said. Ex-Goldman Employee Seeks Leniency for Insider Scheme [Bloomberg]

Woman Who Insider Traded On (Two-Timing) Boyfriend's Behalf Did So In The Hopes Of Taking Relationship To The Next Level

In the summer of 2009, Jessica Mang, far left, met an investment banker named Thomas Ammann at a nightclub in London. Both liked what they saw and started seeing each other "at least once a week," on days he wasn't with his other girlfriend, Christina Weckwerth. Things were going well, but by November, Mang wanted more. So when Ammann said he was going to take her on a romantic getaway to Seychelles, and all she had to do first was use her own money to trade on material non-public information he'd obtained from his job at Mizuho International about Canon’s purchase of OCE NV, she jumped at the chance. Not only did he want to go away with her (huge!) but he was entrusting her with such an important project (huger!); Mang had read all the dating books and knew that when a guy asks you to violate securities laws, it meant things were getting serious. “He basically said that I show him that I trust him -- I invest the money, he still hadn’t specified how -- once that’s done, we’ll go on holiday in the Seychelles,” Mang said today at a London criminal court. “I thought that was a massive leap in commitment.” She said Ammann told her if she didn’t do it, “he didn’t want to be with me anymore.” “I thought, you know, this is a relationship that’s going to go somewhere, I definitely thought we were exclusive as well,” Mang said. “It wasn’t just sleeping together, in my mind we were definitely boyfriend-girlfriend from the start.” Ammann suggested that she should invest so they could build a future together, which she said she thought was a “very sweet and considerate thing he was doing.” Things that are unanswered at time but presumably be cleared up by the time the trial concludes: 1) When Ammann asked Weckworth to insider trade on his behalf (in April 2009), did he dangle a vacation in her face, too? Did she agree to the deal because she also thought it was indication wedding bells weren't far off, or was she just in it for the financial gain? 2) UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES* COULD THIS MISUNDERSTANDING POSSIBLY OCCUR: Mang said she didn’t know what due diligence was and “thought it was just a cute nickname he had for me.” If you have any ideas, we're all ears. Ex-Banker’s Girlfriend Says Trades on Tips Showed Trust [Bloomberg] Earlier: Girlfriend Insider Trading On Two-Timing Boyfriend’s Behalf Found Roommate’s Judgment A Little Uncalled For Related (re: breaking the law for your boyfriend because he promises to take you on vacation): What To Do (Or Not Do) Upon Waking Up In A Car “Driving Through A House,” Part II *Did overhear a phone conversation in which he told someone "I'm spending 80 hours a week doing due diligence," and she assumed he meant her? Because otherwise we've got nothing.

Attention Would-Be Insider Traders: SEC Undaunted By Fancy Foreign Languages, Use Of Email Outside Of Continental United States

Back in May 2010, a Wells Fargo employee named Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto got a hot tip that Burger King was going to be bought by private equity firm 3G Capital Partners. Realizing he was in possession of some valuable information, Da Silva Prado Neto did what any rational person with an elastic view of securities laws would, and shared the material non-public information with some clients and friends, making about $175,000 and also putting himself in the good graces of pal he tipped off, who probably promised to return the favor. DSPN used Portuguese to communicate the message that he had information that might be of interest ("If you are around call me at the hotel," he emailed one customer. "I have some info…you have to hear this"), which seems pretty standard, given that he's Brazilian, though at least one person at the SEC is pretty sure it was an attempt to throw regulators off the trail, not realizing the lengths the Commission will go to to fight crime. "Prado's emails and other communications may have been sent from Brazil and written in Portuguese, but our commitment to prosecute illegal insider trading on U.S. markets knows no geographic or language barrier," said Sanjay Wadhwa, deputy chief of the SEC enforcement division's market abuse unit. Will they pony up the money for Rosetta Stone tapes? Probably not. But they sure as hell will take the time to put words into Google Translate and then nail you to the wall. SEC sues ex-broker for insider trading ahead of Burger King deal [Reuters]