SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 16900 / February 14, 2001
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Certain Unknown Purchasers of Common Stock of Financial Security Assurance Holdings, Ltd., No. 00-Civ-2029 (S.D.N.Y.)
Two Foreign Nationals Settle Insider Trading Action Involving Purchases of FSA Stock Prior to March 14th Merger Announcement
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on January 24, 2001 the Honorable Gerald E. Lynch, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, entered Final Judgments of Permanent Injunction as to Defendants Serge Haddad ("Haddad") and Marc Bitan ("Bitan").
In its March 16, 2000 Complaint, the Commission alleged that "Certain Unknown Purchasers of Common Stock of Financial Security Assurance Holdings, Ltd." made over $1 million in illegal insider trading profits on purchases of over 50,000 shares of FSA stock through three banks in Israel and a bank in Luxembourg days prior to the March 14, 2000 announcement that Dexia, a municipal lending entity based in Brussels, Belgium, would acquire FSA in a friendly merger. The Court froze the proceeds of the suspicious trading.
Haddad and Bitan, owners of a jewelry store in Paris, are two of the previously "unknown purchaser" defendants in this insider trading case. Haddad purchased 8,300 shares of FSA on March 9th after agreeing to pay 30,000 francs for a tip to purchase FSA stock. Without admitting or denying that he committed any violation, Haddad consented to the entry of a final judgment which (1) permanently enjoins him from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5 and (2) orders him to disgorge $177,433 in profits and $9,462.62 in prejudgment interest and pay a civil penalty of $50,000.
Both Haddad and Bitan cooperated in the Commission's continuing investigation. The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Commission des Operations de Bourse, (the French securities authority) and of the Israel Securities Authority.http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr16900.htm