Spouse of communications professional charged with insider trading

NEW YORK: A former Lehman Brothers employee is being charged by US prosecutors with insider trading after being accused of gathering information from his unwitting wife, a communications professional.

NEW YORK: A former Lehman Brothers employee is being charged by US prosecutors with insider trading after being accused of gathering information from his unwitting wife, a communications professional.

The court filing in New York by the US attorney said that the defendant, Matthew Devlin, "obtained material nonpublic information from his wife concerning the Communication Firm's Deals listed below," and included InBev, Alcoa, Dow Chemical, and Amgen. Although the communications firm is not listed by name in the suit, the details of the case pointed to the Brunswick Group, which the firm has confirmed. Devlin's wife is Nina Devlin, a New York-based partner.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed insider trading charges against nine defendants, including Matthew Devlin. It alleges that from March 2004 to July 2008 he "traded on and tipped at least four of his clients and friends with inside information about 13 impending corporate transactions," and him and his wife were sometimes referred to as the "golden goose" by those benefitting from the deals. DealBook has posted all of the criminal complaint filings. The suits do not list Brunswick or its employee as defendants.

Nina Devlin's lawyer Jim Benjamin, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, told the Associated Press that her husband obtained the information without her knowledge but by "being close to her and monitoring her travel schedule," according to a report on The New York Times.

In an additional statement, released to PRWeek, Benjamin said: "Nina Devlin is devoted to her clients and colleagues and has always sought to uphold the highest standards of professionalism in her work. She was completely unaware that confidential information about her job was being used as the basis for securities trading. She is devastated by this terrible situation."

When asked to comment, the Brunswick Group forwarded a statement. "It is our understanding that the information, which relates to a limited number of her clients, was obtained by being in close proximity to his wife and from the implications of her travel schedule," reads the statement. "There is no indication that he accessed Brunswick's confidential systems."

"In this instance, this is a violation of trust between husband and wife," the statement continues. "Our employee was the victim of a criminal act by her spouse which made detection extremely difficult despite our high standards of confidentiality."

The New York court document reads that the defendant "owed duties of trust and confidence to his wife and, in turn, the Communications Firm and its clients."

It continues that, "Devlin and his wife had a history, pattern, and practice of sharing and maintaining confidences such that Devlin knew and reasonably should have known that his wife expected that he would maintain the confidentiality of any material nonpublic information he obtained from her. Devlin agreed and understood that he could not use or share any confidential information entrusted to the Communications Firm by its clients that Devlin obtained or learned from his wife."

Updated December 19 at 10:02am

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