Greenwich, CT-based Level Global Investors, the hedge fund advisory firm, has agreed to pay over $21.5 million to settle charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission involving insider trading in the securities of Dell and Nvidia Corporation.
In January 2012, the US authority filed insider trading charges against the firm, its co-founder Anthony Chiasson, former analyst Spyridon Adondakis, and six other defendants. Among these were five investment professionals and Connecticut-based Diamondback Capital Management, another hedge fund advisory firm.
The SEC’s complaint was filed in federal court in Manhattan and alleged that Adondakis was a member of a group of closely-associated hedge fund analysts who illegally obtained sensitive, non-public information about the financial performance of Dell and Nvidia.
According to the SEC, Adondakis passed the information on to Chiasson in 2008 and 2009, who then used it to execute trades on behalf of hedge funds managed by Level Global and in turn “reap millions of dollars in illegal profits.”
Level Global neither admits nor denies the SEC’s allegations but has agreed to the entry of an order permanently enjoining the firm from future violations.
The SEC said Adondakis previously pleaded guilty to parallel criminal charges and agreed to a settlement with the authority in which he admitted liability for insider trading. Meanwhile, the authority is continuing to pursue its insider trading claims against Chiasson, who was convicted in December 2012 of securities fraud in a parallel criminal proceeding, it added.
The settlement is subject to court approval and the investigation is ongoing, while Level Global Investors is in the process of winding down its business, the SEC said.