Bad Ideas, Biglaw, Crime, Insider Trading, Securities and Exchange Commission, Thacher Proffitt & Wood, Wall Street, White-Collar Crime

When Smart Lawyers Do Stupid Things: Insider Trading By Biglaw Attorneys

Wall Street Michael Douglas Above the Law Charlie Sheen Above the Law.jpgVia our financially-minded big sibling, Dealbreaker, we just learned about an interesting (and bizarre) insider trading case. It’s about a family that set up its own hedge fund in order to trade on insider information.
And as it turns out, a friend of ours appears to be involved. From today’s CCH Wall Street:

The SEC has charged an entire family and two associates with conducting an insider trading scheme that illegally created more than $3.7 million in profits.

The Commission has charged Zvi Rosenthal of Tenafly, New Jersey, and former Vice President of Israeli-based Taro Pharmaceuticals with providing nonpublic information regarding pending FDA drug approvals and earnings statements to his sons.

The SEC has also charged the sons, Amir Rosenthal, 29, and Ayal Rosenthal, 26, both of New York, New York, and Oren Rosenthal, 31, of Los Angeles, California. It has also charged Amir Rosenthal with providing the nonpublic information to his father-in-law, Bahram Delshad, his work supervisor, Young Kim, and his best friend, David Heyman.

All of the defendants allegedly used the tip-offs to illegally trade ahead of eight Taro earnings announcements and five FDA drug approval announcements from at least 2001 through 2005, the SEC charged.

As noted by Best In Class, several of the defendants are Biglaw lawyers. Amir Rosenthal was an associate at Thacher Proffitt & Wood, where he worked in the Structured Finance Group under co-defendant Young Kim.
We don’t know Young Kim or Amir Rosenthal. But we do know Oren Rosenthal, who we can say from personal knowledge is a very nice, smart, and attractive fellow. He struck us as a truly decent person. We were shocked to see his name in the SEC press release.
(We met Oren when he was an associate in the New York office of O’Melveny & Myers; he subsequently relocated to the firm’s Los Angeles office. Oren’s bio has disappeared from the OMM website, but you can see it here via Google Cache. One irony is that Oren specialized in white collar criminal defense.)
In addition to the SEC proceedings, criminal cases have been brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Four of the seven SEC defendants were charged criminally, and those defendants — Zvi Rosenthal, his sons Ayal and Amir (the former TPW associate), and David Heyman — have pleaded guilty.
Random factoid: Amir Rosenthal is represented in the criminal proceedings by Paul Shechtman. Schechtman is a name partner at Stillman, Friedman & Shechtman — Charles Stillman’s firm, now representing Sullivan & Cromwell in the Brokeback Lawfirm matter.
Insider Trading: It’s A Family Affair! [DealBreaker]
The “Family Business” Built on Insider Trading [Best in Class / Garden City Group]
The Family That Trades on Inside Information Together Goes to Jail Together [White Collar Crime Prof Blog]
SEC Charges Family with Insider Trading Scheme [CCH Wall Street]
Former Thacher Proffitt Associate Admits Role in Insider Trading Scheme [New York Law Journal]
SEC Charges Family-Run Hedge Fund With a $3.7 Million Insider Trading Scheme [SEC.gov]

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