April 24, 2017 / 10:16 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. charges investment bank vice president with insider trading

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An investment banking vice president and risk management specialist was criminally charged on Monday with insider trading in Neustar Inc before the advertising technology company agreed to be acquired by a private equity firm.

Avaneesh Krishnamoorthy, an Indian citizen living in West New York, New Jersey, made about $48,000 trading Neustar stock and options in a brokerage account held by him and his wife, after learning that Golden Gate Capital was in talks to buy the company, court papers show.

Shares of Neustar rose 21 percent last Dec. 14 after Golden Gate’s takeover of the Sterling, Virginia-based company for about $2.9 billion including debt.

Krishnamoorthy’s employer was not identified in court papers, but according to LinkedIn a person sharing his name works as a market risk manager for Nomura Holdings Inc.

In a related civil complaint, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said the employer had been registered with the commission as a broker-dealer since 1969 and as an investment adviser since April 2012.

That description matches data for Nomura from the SEC website.

Krishnamoorthy, 41, faces one criminal count of securities fraud, and a maximum 20 years in prison if convicted.

A federal public defender who appeared with Krishnamoorthy at a hearing in Manhattan declined to comment. The office of Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim in Manhattan also declined to comment, as did a Nomura spokeswoman.

The criminal insider trading case is the first announced by Kim since his predecessor Preet Bharara, who brought many such cases, was fired by U.S. President Donald Trump on March 11.

The cases are U.S. v. Krishnamoorthy, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-mag-03002; and SEC v. Krishnamoorthy in the same court, No. 17-02953.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Grant McCool

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