November 13, 2014 / 10:00 PM / 5 years ago

Wilson Sonsini employee pleads guilty to insider trading in N.Y.

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - An information technology engineer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati pleaded guilty on Thursday to insider trading based on information he learned while working at the prominent Silicon Valley law firm.

Dimitry Braverman, 41, pleaded guilty in New York federal court to one count of securities fraud, two years after another Wilson Sonsini employee, attorney Matthew Kluger, received the longest insider trading prison sentence in history in a separate case in New Jersey.

“I’m very sorry for my actions, and I’m ready to forfeit my profits,” Braverman told U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmeyer.

Prosecutors accused Braverman of making nearly $300,000 from 2010 to 2013 by illegally trading in stocks and options of eight companies involved in deals for which Wilson Sonsini was providing legal counsel.

In April 2011, Kluger was charged with a separate insider trading scheme, prompting Braverman to put his fraud on hold temporarily, prosecutors said.

Following Kluger’s arrest, Wilson Sonsini’s general counsel emailed employees to remind them of the firm’s policies on insider trading, according to court documents.

But prosecutors said Braverman started back up again in 2012, just months after Kluger was sentenced to a record 12 years in prison.

Braverman had access to information about pending transactions through his job working on software for the firm’s finance operations, prosecutors said.

The companies in which he traded included Drugstore.com Inc, Seagate Technology Plc and Dealertrack Technologies Inc , authorities said.

A criminal complaint also accused Braverman of passing tips to another person who engaged in two of the illegal trades.

That person was identified as Braverman’s brother in a parallel civil lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, though he was not named and was not accused of wrongdoing.

The case is the latest in a string of insider trading prosecutions brought by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office has secured convictions for 84 individuals since October 2009.

Braverman is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

The cases in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, are U.S. v. Braverman, No. 14-mj-02031, and SEC v. Braverman, 14-07482. (Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by David Gregorio)

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