| NEW YORK, July 18
NEW YORK, July 18 A former Banco Santander SA
executive will pay $1.92 million to settle a U.S.
lawsuit accusing him of insider trading ahead of a proposed 2010
takeover of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc by mining
group BHP Billiton Ltd.
The deal with Cedric Cañas Maillard, a former adviser to
Banco Santander's chief executive, was disclosed on Friday by
Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Timothy Leiman in a
teleconference at the federal court in New York.
Cañas agreed to pay $960,806 in penalties and give up an
equal amount in improper gains. The settlement requires approval
by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni.
The judge froze $3.84 million of Cañas' assets in April,
three months after he was acquitted of criminal charges in
Jonathan Buck, a lawyer at Perkins Coie representing Cañas,
did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In its lawsuit filed last July, the SEC said Cañas learned
on Aug. 5, 2010, that Santander was helping Anglo-Australian
company BHP Billiton Ltd prepare a bid for Potash and
tipped co-defendant Julio Marín Ugedo, a friend in Spain who is
also a former judge.
The SEC said Cañas bought the equivalent of 30,000 Potash
shares through contracts-for-difference (CFD), a leveraged
security not traded in the United States, while Marín bought
1,393 Potash shares.
These bets paid off when Potash shares jumped more than 25
percent on Aug. 17, 2010, although the Saskatoon-based company
had that day rejected BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion bid.
Marín was also sued by the SEC, and has not responded to the
lawsuit. Leiman said on Friday that the SEC was hiring local
counsel in Spain to serve the complaint.
Canada ultimately blocked the Potash takeover on the ground
that it did not provide a "net benefit" to the country.
The case is SEC v. Cañas Maillard et al, U.S. District
Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-05299.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York. Editing by Andre