SEC Charges Former Financial Industry Analyst and Three Others with Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Anthony Viggiano, a former analyst at a major investment firm and later at an international investment bank, and Christopher Salamone, Stephen A. Forlano, and Nathan Bleckley, for insider trading in advance of numerous merger and acquisition transactions.
According to the SEC’s complaint, in connection with his work at two financial institutions, Viggiano learned about impending merger and acquisition transactions and strategic partnerships before they were publicly announced. Viggiano, a resident of Baldwin, New York, allegedly obtained material nonpublic information about eight such transactions and tipped his friend Salamone, who grew up on the same block and whom he has known for approximately 20 years, about at least six of them. Salamone, a resident of Long Beach, New York, allegedly traded in advance of the six transactions, resulting in proceeds of approximately $322,000. Salamone allegedly agreed to share his trading proceeds with Viggiano because Viggiano’s own employer prohibited him from engaging in such trades. The complaint further alleges that Viggiano tipped his close college friend Forlano about at least four transactions and that Forlano made approximately $113,000 in illegal profits trading in advance of three of those transactions. Forlano, a resident of Tampa, Florida, also allegedly tipped other individuals, including his close, college friend Bleckley, a resident of Altus, Oklahoma, who traded in advance of two transactions, resulting in illegal gains of almost $25,000.
The case originated from the SEC Market Abuse Unit’s Analysis and Detection Center, which uses data analysis tools to detect suspicious trading patterns.
“As alleged in our complaint, Anthony Viggiano violated his employers’ trust by misusing his access to confidential information to repeatedly and unjustly enrich himself and his friends,” said Joseph Sansone, Chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit. “The SEC is focused on detecting misconduct by financial industry professionals, and we will continue to use our resources to bring them to justice and bar them from the securities industry when appropriate.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges Viggiano, Salamone, Forlano, and Bleckley with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Viggiano, Forlano, and Salamone.
The SEC’s ongoing investigation is being conducted by Market Abuse Unit staff members Jeffrey Oraker and Mark L. Williams, with the assistance of John Rymas of the Market Abuse Unit’s Analysis and Detection Center, as well as Alexander Lefferts and Yongping Zheng of the Division of Enforcement’s Office of Investigative & Market Analytics, and is being supervised by Danielle Voorhees and Mr. Sansone. The SEC's litigation will be led by Ian Kellogg under the supervision of Gregory A. Kasper. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.