LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that LAURENCE McKEEVER,
46, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy charges in connection with
a scheme in which he agreed to conceal the insider trading
activity of two individuals in exchange for approximately
$50,000. According to the Indictment and statements at the
guilty plea proceedings in Manhattan federal court:
In August 2006, McKEEVER — a registered
representatives at a brokerage firm called Assent LLC —
determined that two individuals were executing an insider trading
scheme through an Assent account and were reaping large, illegal
profits from that trading. In particular, these individuals were
executing securities transactions based on material, nonpublic
information regarding upcoming upgrades and downgrades in UBS
analysts’ securities recommendations.
McKEEVER, in violation of his duty to Assent, agreed to
conceal the insider trading scheme from higher level Assent
management in exchange for cash payments to total approximately
$50,000. Between August 2006 and November 2006, McKEEVER was
paid $30,000 pursuant to the agreement.
McKEEVER pleaded guilty before United States District
Judge LORETTA A. PRESKA to one count of conspiracy to commit
securities fraud, wire fraud, and commercial bribery. Sentencing
is scheduled for May 1, 2008. McKEEVER faces a maximum sentence
of five years’ imprisonment.
McKEEVER is the tenth of thirteen defendants, against
whom criminal charges were announced last year in connection with
this investigation, to enter a guilty plea.
The trials of the remaining three defendants are
scheduled as follows:
• The trial of MITCHEL GUTTENBERG and DAVID TAVDY is
scheduled to begin on March 3, 2008, before United
States District Judge DEBORAH A. BATTS.
• The trial of SAMUEL W. CHILDS, JR. (McKEEVER’s
codefendant) is scheduled to begin on April 7, 2008,
before United States District Judge LORETTA A. PRESKA.
As to these defendants, the charges are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.
Mr. GARCIA, a member of the President’s Corporate Fraud
Task Force, praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation and thanked the Securities and Exchange
Commission for its assistance in the investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys ANDREW FISH and
DEIRDRE MCEVOY are in charge of the McKEEVER prosecution.