New York man admits to insider trading following takeover tip

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Brooklyn's Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

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NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) - A New York City man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to insider trading and tax evasion charges for purchasing securities in chemical manufacturer Ferro Corp after learning from a friend that it had received a takeover bid.

Jason Peltz, 39, entered the plea in Brooklyn federal court to two counts of insider trading and tax evasion a year after initially pleading not guilty. He had been engaged in plea negotiations with prosecutors since at least September 2021, court records show. read more

"This office will vigorously prosecute traders who seek to cheat the system, harm the investing public and undermine the integrity of our financial markets," Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

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Peltz also provided a tip about the takeover bid to a reporter, who wrote an article about the offer that resulted in an increase in Ferro's stock price, Peace's office said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors did not name the journalist or the media outlet, but Reuters and other media have identified him as Ed Hammond, a deals reporter with Bloomberg in New York, based on a review of articles mentioned in Peltz's 2021 indictment. Hammond is not accused of any wrongdoing. read more

"Ed Hammond is a very accomplished reporter," a Bloomberg News spokesperson said in a statement. "We're not aware of any facts to suggest any wrongdoing on his part."

The scheme ran from November 2015 to October 2020, according to the indictment.

In a statement read to U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in court on Tuesday, Peltz said he purchased securities in Ferro Corp based on information, obtained from a friend, that Ferro had received a takeover offer. He said he knew trading off that information was illegal.

Peltz is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

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Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Howard Goller and Neil Fullick

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