Hedge Fund Diamondback Capital agreed to settle insider trading charges with the SEC for $9 million today. Three million of that fee is a civil penalty, the rest is to make up for the money Diamondback made from illegal trades on Dell and tech company Nvidia.In case you missed it: Diamondback, along with hedge fund Level Global, is in the centre of an insider trading ring the Department of Justice is calling ‘the circle of friends.’ Analysts at both firms told authorities that they traded on privileged information they obtained from friends outside their funds.
And allegedly, according to the FBI, that information made its way up the ranks to portfolio managers so that both firms could reap major benefits. One portfolio manager from Diamondback, Anthony Scolero has already pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud.
“We are pleased to have reached a prompt resolution of the charges against Diamondback,” said George S. Canellos, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “If approved by the court, we believe that the proposed settlement appropriately sanctions the misconduct while giving due credit to Diamondback for its substantial assistance in the government’s investigation and the pending actions against former employees and their co-defendants.”
The settlement still needs to be approved by Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. It shouldn’t be controversial, but we’ll keep you posted.