Guilty Plea for Financial Adviser Who Used UBS Tips in $1M Healthcare Insider Trading Scheme

Registered investment adviser Alexei Koval has pleaded guilty to three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud over his role in a $1 million insider trading scheme. Koval, a registered investment adviser, allegedly acted on tips about provided by his friend Igor Poteroba, an ex-UBS Securities LLC investment banker, about the healthcare industry.

Koval admitted to U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty that he and Poteroba engaged in securities fraud between 2005 and February 2009. The two of them used coded email messages to communicate. Poteroba also provided the tips to a third person, Alexander Vorobiev.

Koval, who used to work for Citigroup Asset Management (C.N), Northern Trust Bank (NTRS.O), and Legg Mason Inc. (LM.N) subsidiary Western Asset Management, says he paid money for the insider information about upcoming announcements regarding acquisitions or mergers involving Molecular Devices Corp, Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc, Via Cell Inc, PharmaNet Development Group Inc, Indevus Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc.

As part of Koval’s plea deal, he will forfeit at least $1,414,290 in illegal proceeds. He is facing fines in the millions of dollars and up to 65 years in prison. Koval is also facing civil securities fraud charges with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Illegal Insider Trading
The SEC describes this type of illegal trading usually refers to the selling or buying of a security that involves a breach of fiduciary trust or duty while in possession of nonpublic, material information about the security. It can involve the “tipping” of such information to others, actual trading by the person who was “tipped,” and trading by those who were in possession of the insider information.

Related Web Resources:
UBS Banker Poteroba’s Co-Defendant Koval Pleads Guilty, Business Week, January 7, 2011
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Igor Poteroba, Aleksey Koval, Alexander Vorobiev, and Relief Defendants Tatiana Vorobieva and Anjali Walter, Civil Action No. 10-civ-2667 (AKH), SEC, November 4, 2011
Insider Trading, SEC
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