SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Portfolio Manager Charged with Matched Trades Scheme

Litigation Release No. 24048 / February 14, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Kevin J. Amell, No. 17-cv-10707 (D. Mass. filed Apr. 24, 2017)

The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a final judgment against a Massachusetts-based portfolio manager at a major asset management firm charged with diverting at least $1.95 million to his personal brokerage account from a fund over which he had trading authority.

In its complaint, filed on April 24, 2017, the SEC alleged that Kevin J. Amell carried out a fraudulent matched-trades scheme in which he prearranged the purchase or sale of call options between his own account and the brokerage accounts of the fund at prices that were disadvantageous to the fund and advantageous to him.

The final judgment, entered on February 2, 2018 by the Honorable Judge Rya W. Zobel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, permanently enjoins Amell from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2) and 17(j) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and Rule 17j-1 thereunder, and orders him liable for disgorgement of $1,954,457, the payment of which is deemed satisfied by the forfeiture ordered in a parallel criminal case. Amell, who pled guilty in that case, is serving an 18-month sentence of imprisonment.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Simona Suh, Melanie MacLean, and John Marino of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit and by Elzbieta Wraga of the New York Regional Office. The case was supervised by Joseph G. Sansone, Chief of the Market Abuse Unit. The SEC's litigation was led by Ms. Suh, Ms. MacLean, and Martin F. Healey of the Boston Regional Office. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston Field Office, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.