| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Aug 26 An employee of a New York
investor relations firm was charged with insider trading on
Tuesday, after federal authorities accused him of using
nonpublic information to earn more than $538,000 in illicit
Michael Lucarelli, the director of market intelligence at
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, was arrested early Tuesday
morning at his Manhattan apartment, a spokesman for the FBI
said. A criminal complaint made public in federal court charged
Lucarelli with 13 counts of securities fraud.
A lawyer for Lucarelli could not immediately be identified.
Lucarelli did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
A representative for Lippert/Heilshorn did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.
Lucarelli, 51, is accused of trading in several companies
that were clients of his firm, including TREX Co Inc,
FAB Universal Corp, PhotoMedex Inc,
LCA-Vision Inc, Pacific Ethanol Inc, Dot Hill Systems
Corp and Lifetime Brands Inc.
Authorities said Lucarelli opened several brokerage accounts
without divulging his employment at Lippert/Heilshorn, where he
had access to the companies' financial announcements prior to
their public release.
The trades began in August 2013 and continued until earlier
this month, the complaint said.
According to the complaint, federal agents executed a search
warrant of his office in July and found a draft copy of a press
release from TREX containing its second quarter results dated
Aug. 4, 2014 in his locked briefcase. The investigators
photographed the release and returned it to the briefcase in
order to keep Lucarelli unaware of the probe, the complaint
During the following week, one of Lucarelli's brokerage
accounts purchased more than 37,000 shares of TREX; the majority
of the shares were sold on Aug. 4 for a profit of nearly
$90,000, the complaint said.
Authorities also said they have evidence that Lucarelli
engaged in other trading in various clients of Lippert/Heilshorn
that followed a similar pattern.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Nate Raymond; Editing by Grant