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Funds News

CHRONOLOGY-Major insider trading cases this year

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Securities regulators and criminal prosecutors have brought some big insider trading cases in 2007, with the Securities and Exchange Commission filing about 35 so far this fiscal year, which started October 1.

Following is a chronology of major insider trading prosecutions this year:

* February 7: The SEC charges former audit committee chairman of Magnum Hunter Resources Inc. with insider trading ahead of the company's merger with rival Cimarex Energy Co. XEC.N

* February 8: A former executive at Taro Pharmaceutical Industries, two of his sons and a law firm employee plead guilty in federal court for their roles in a multimillion-dollar trading scheme.

* March 1: U.S. prosecutors charge 13 people, including employees at top Wall Street banks UBS UBSN.VX, Morgan Stanley MS.N and Bear Stearns Cos BSC.N in what they called one of the most pervasive trading rings since the 1980s. The SEC also brings civil charges against 11 people as well as against three hedge funds.

* March 2: A federal judge grants an emergency order sought by regulators to freeze as much as $5.4 million in investor assets for apparent illegal insider trading ahead of TXU Corp.'s TXU.N February 26 buyout announcement by a private equity firm.

* April 18: The SEC charges the former general counsel at microchip tester Amkor Technology Inc. AMKR.O with illegal insider trading.

* April 19: Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest Communications International Q.N, is convicted of 19 counts of insider trading.

* May 3: Credit Suisse investment banker Hafiz Muhammad Zubair Naseem is charged with tipping off a co-conspirator about pending acquisitions involving nine publicly traded companies, including TXU.

* May 8: The SEC brings insider trading charges against a husband and wife in Hong Kong, Kan King Wong and Charlotte Leung, stemming from their trades in Dow Jones & Co DJ.N. shares ahead of News Corp.'s NWSa.N $5 billion takeover bid for the U.S. media company.

* May 10: Former Morgan Stanley attorney Randi Collotta and her lawyer husband, Christopher, charged in a Wall Street insider trading case announced in March, plead guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud.

* May 10: Former Morgan Stanley analyst Jennifer Wang and her husband, ex-ING ING.AS analyst Ruopian Chen, are arrested by federal authorities on insider trading charges.

* May 29: U.S. prosecutors charge former Pakistani banker Ajaz Rahim with securities fraud, saying he made nearly $8 million in illegal profits after getting inside information from ex-Credit Suisse banker Naseem.

* May 30: Barclays BARC.L agrees to pay $10.9 million to settle charges of illegally trading millions of dollars of bond securities.

* June 26: Three former Countrywide Financial Corp. CFC.N executives plead guilty to federal charges that they engaged in insider trading in the mortgage lender's shares in the week leading up to a disappointing earnings report.

* July 19: Dow Jones board member David Li, a prominent Hong Kong banker, denies any wrongdoing after the SEC informs him he may face civil charges in their probe of trading ahead of News Corp.’s bid for the company.

* July 24: Hedge fund manager Mark Lenowitz pleads guilty in the Wall Street trading ring case announced in March.

* July 27: Ex-Qwest CEO Nacchio is sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit $52 million in illicit gains.

* August 2: Former Bank of America BAC.N broker Paul Risoli pleads guilty to accepting cash kickbacks in exchange for allocating shares of initial public offerings to a hedge fund.

* August 28: Ex-Goldman Sachs Group GS.N bond analyst Eugene Plotkin pleads guilty to helping lead a trading scheme involving tips about pending mergers and stolen copies of BusinessWeek magazine that netted more than $6.7 million in illicit gains.

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