(Updates with details from court hearing, background on case,
By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK, April 2 A former investment banker at
Evercore Group pleaded guilty on Wednesday to criminal charges
that he engaged in insider trading and used proceeds to pay a
one-time mistress to support their child.
Frank Perkins Hixon Jr., a former senior manager at the
bank, pleaded guilty to six criminal counts at a hearing in the
U.S. district court in Manhattan.
The defendant was accused in February of using inside
information to arrange trades in the stock of Evercore's parent
and two other companies, through accounts held by Hixon's
ex-girlfriend and his father.
The other two companies besides Evercore Partners Inc
were Westway Group, which merged last year with EQT
Infrastructure II, and Titanium Metals Corp, which was purchased
last year by Precision Castparts Corp.
Authorities said the suspect trades occurred in accounts
held by the mother of Hixon's young child in Austin, Texas and a
close relative in Johns Creek, Georgia.
In a related civil lawsuit, the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission said the accounts belonged to Destiny Wind Robinson,
Hixon's former girlfriend, and Frank Hixon Sr., his father.
Hixon pleaded guilty to six counts including securities
fraud, securities fraud in connection with a tender offer and
making a false statement.
According to a plea agreement, Hixon could face 46 months to
57 months in prison under recommended federal guidelines, and
has agreed to forfeit the $710,000 earned in the scheme.
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1.
Hixon, who is married, told authorities he ended his
relationship with Robinson in 2009, about the time the child was
born, according to court documents.
The SEC's lawsuit said that text messages between the two
had suggested the insider trading was at least partly intended
to support their child.
"I am sorry these actions affected my family and my
friends," Hixon said in court.
George Sard, an Evercore spokesman, said the company had
immediately reported suspicious trading linked to Hixon after
discovering it last year, and has cooperated with authorities.
"The acts of one rogue employee do not define our firm," he
The criminal case is U.S. v. Hixon, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 14-mj-0341. The civil case is
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Hixon, U.S. District
Court, Western District of Texas, No. 14-158.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Steve