U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 21917 / April 6, 2011
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Matthew H. Kluger and Garrett D. Bauer, Case No. 11-cv-1936 (D. N.J. April 6, 2011)
SEC CHARGES CORPORATE ATTORNEY AND WALL STREET TRADER IN $32 MILLION INSIDER TRADING RING
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a corporate attorney and a Wall Street trader with insider trading in advance of at least 11 merger and acquisition announcements involving clients of the law firm where the attorney worked.
The SEC alleges that Matthew H. Kluger, who formerly worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Garrett D. Bauer did not have a direct relationship with each other, but were linked only through a mutual friend who acted as a middleman to facilitate the illegal scheme. Kluger and Bauer communicated with the middleman using public telephones and prepaid disposable mobile phones in order to avoid detection. According to the SEC’s complaint, Kluger accessed information on 11 mergers and acquisitions involving the law firm’s clients and then tipped the middleman. In at least nine instances, the middleman passed the information on to Bauer, who illegally traded for illicit profits totaling nearly $32 million.
In a parallel criminal action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey today announced the arrests of Kluger and Bauer.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Newark, N.J., Kluger, Bauer and the middleman deliberately structured their communications and trading so that Kluger and the middleman could share in the insider trading proceeds while Bauer could illegally trade and profit without being connected to Kluger as a possible source of information. Bauer withdrew cash from his bank accounts and kicked back hundreds of thousands of dollars to the middleman, who in turn delivered at least $500,000 to Kluger for his role in the scheme.
According to the SEC’s complaint, over the past five years Kluger accessed and then tipped confidential information in advance of the following 11 mergers and acquisitions between April 2006 and March 2011:
The middleman traded in two deals on the basis of information that he received from Kluger and profited at least $690,000.
The SEC alleges that Kluger and Bauer violated Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3 thereunder. The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and financial penalties.
The SEC brought this enforcement action in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. The SEC also appreciates the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Options Regulatory Surveillance Authority.