Informants and Insider Trading

The cooperation of a single Wall Street trader has led directly led to the prosecution of 10 individuals. That makes David Slaine one of the most productive informants in the history of US financial crimes.

In a sentencing memorandum (.pdf), the US Attorney’s office states that “Slaine’s cooperation has been nothing short of extraordinary” and “truly exceptional”. It lays out the series of of prominent insider trading cases that came from his information: Rajaratnam, Goffer, Kimelman, Drimal and others.

This all came from Slaine’s actions back in 2002. According to the information filed by the prosecutors, Slaine starting getting tips from a UBS analyst. The analyst was leaking information in whether UBS was going to change its securities recommendations. Slaine was then trading ahead of the upgrades and downgrades.

To reduce his sentence, Slaine agreed to help prosecutors and helped unravel a huge ring of traders using inside information. One of the startling aspects of the cases was the widespread use of wiretaps. This was a technique not often seen in insider trading cases.

1:09-cr-01222-RJS USA v. Slaine in the Southern District of NY