The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a vice president in the risk management department of the Nomura Securities investment banking division of Nomura Holdings Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:NMR) with insider trading on confidential information he learned in advance of a private equity firm’s acquisition of a publicly-traded technology company.
The SEC alleges that New York-based Avaneesh Krishnamoorthy learned that Golden Gate Capital planned to acquire Neustar Inc., and he then began trading in Neustar securities. The trading took place in two brokerage accounts that Krishnamoorthy allegedly kept hidden from his employer, which had been approached by Golden Gate Capital to finance the transaction. According to the SEC’s complaint, Krishnamoorthy made approximately $48,000 in illicit profits.
“As alleged in our complaint, Krishnamoorthy was entrusted with confidential, market-moving information by his employer and he misused it for personal gain,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today filed criminal charges against Krishnamoorthy.
The SEC is seeking an emergency court order to freeze the assets in the brokerage accounts belonging to Krishnamoorthy and his wife, who has been named as a relief defendant in the SEC’s complaint for purposes of recovering allegedly ill-gotten gains in the account in her name.
The complaint charges Krishnamoorthy with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 as well as Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5.