Linus Unah – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, D.C., United States (4E) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Thursday charged a former partner at an international law firm and his neighbor with making more than $1 million in illicit profits by insider trading around corporate announcements.
The SEC alleged that the former partner Walter C. Little accessed confidential documents on his law firm’s internal computer network related to at least 11 impending announcements.
These announcements involved law firm clients, none of which he personally advised or billed for services, according to the SEC.
Forty-three-year-old Little, who resides in Apollo Beach, Florida, then allegedly traded in advance of each announcement and often tipped his neighbor Andrew M. Berke with material nonpublic information.
He did this so he could similarly trade in company stocks before the announcements were made publicly.
According to the SEC’s complaint, the insider trading occurred from February 2015 through February 2016.
“As alleged in our complaint, Little used highly-confidential information about his law firm’s clients to make more than $1 million for himself and his neighbor through illegal insider trading and tipping,” said Stephanie Avakian, acting director of the SEC’s enforcement unit.
The SEC’s complaint charges Little and Berke with violating federal securities laws, and seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and penalties.
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