* Pleads guilty to trading ahead of IBM deal
* Faces up to 45 years in prison
By Bernard Vaughan
NEW YORK, April 3 Former broker Thomas Conradt
pleaded guilty Wednesday to insider trading charges related to
trades he made ahead of a $1.2 billion acquisition by
International Business Machines Corp in 2009.
In court on Wednesday, Condradt, 35, said he used tips from
a roommate to trade on shares of Chicago-based software company
SPSS before IBM agreed to buy it on July 28, 2009, for $1.2
billion. He also passed those tips along to several colleagues
at the Manhattan office of Euro Pacific Capital Inc, the
brokerage he was working at.
Conradt pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit
securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud. He faces up
to 45 years in prison, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter said at
"I am deeply apologetic ... for my actions," Conradt said,
reading from a written statement. "I can assure the court that I
will never put myself in this position again."
Catherine Redlich, Conradt's lawyer, declined to comment
after the hearing.
David Weishaus, a co-defendant in the case was also in court
on Wednesday. Judge Carter adjourned his hearing until June 5 so
that he and his lawyer could review evidence.
Weishaus was also employed at Euro Pacific Capital, which is
based in Westport, Connecticut, and he attended law school with
Conradt in Baltimore, according to court papers.
Conradt's former roommate, equities analyst Trent Martin,
also faces charges for buying shares of SPSS before the deal.
Martin, an Australian citizen, was arrested in December in Hong
Kong and has been returned to the United States, according to
court papers. Martin learned of the pending IBM deal from a
close friend, a citizen of New Zealand, according to court
Martin, Conradt, Weishaus and others made more than $1
million by trading on the information, prosecutors have said.
Martin was specifically named as the source of the
information in instant messages between Conradt and Weishaus,
authorities have said. Responding to Weishaus, who said another
person had bought shares, Martin wrote: "god trent told me not
to tell anyone ... big mistake."
Weishaus responded, "eh, we'll get rich," according to the
indictment of Martin, made public in December.
At the hearing on Wednesday, Carter asked Conradt if he'd
sought any mental health treatment. Conradt said he has dealt
with anxiety and depression "on and off" for the past 10 or 15
Conradt continues to cooperate with investigators. Carter
initially suggested July 2 for his sentencing, but pushed it
back to Oct. 3 at the request of prosecutors while they continue
The case is U.S. v. Conradt et al, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 12-cr-00887.