By Chris Prentice
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday they had charged six members of an insider trading ring who worked for firms including Goldman Sachs Group
The United States Attorney General for the Southern District of New York has arrested three members of the international ring and sealed four separate charges in recent days.
Bankers and others booked trade surplus of non-public information related to agreements including acquisitions, the prosecutors said in a statement.
They said that Benjamin Taylor, formerly employed by the investment banking firm Moelis, and Darina Windsor, a former employee of the retail investment bank Centerview Partners, obtained and leaked non-public information about listed companies to securities brokers.
The bankers shared the profits from the beginning of the trade in at least January 2013, authorities said in an indictment on Monday unsigned.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "That included profits from buying shares of biotech firm InterMune Inc ahead of a 2014 announcement of an $ 8.3 billion acquisition by Roche Holding AG
Windsor and Taylor, who were romantically involved, "repeatedly accessed internal electronic files" of their employees, including files relating to business agreements in which they were not involved, authorities said.
A Moelis spokeswoman confirmed Taylor had been a "junior employee." A Centerview spokesman said Windsor, also a "junior employee," was laid off nearly four years ago for mistreatment.
Securities trader Joseph El-Khouri was arrested in the United Kingdom on Monday. He reportedly received information about leaks from Windsor and Taylor, which he then passed on to reporters.
El-Khouri and an unnamed trader built long positions in companies that were targeted for takeover, court documents state. El-Khouri realized more than $ 2 million in illicit gains on securities trading in at least six different companies, according to the documents.
Bryan Cohen, a banker who worked for Goldman Sachs, was arrested Friday.
Cohen shared inside information with a securities broker named Georgios Nikas, who also owns a chain of Greek restaurants in New York, prosecutors said.
From December 2012 to 2017, Nikas and another merchant obtained information from Taylor, Windsor and Cohen, prosecutors said.
They said that Nikas also received information from Telemaque Lavidas, the son of a board member at Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. Lavidas was arrested on Friday.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission said in a separate statement on Tuesday it had received an order freezing Nika's assets. The SEC had brought an emergency action that charged Cohen and Nikas on October 18.
Nikas, Taylor and Windsor remain at large, the US Attorney's Office said. None of the defendants could be reached immediately for comment.
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Tom Brown)