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Alternative Market Briefing

SEC charges investor relations firm with insider trading

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The SEC has brought charges against Michael Anthony Dupre Lucarelli, who garnered nearly $1 million in illicit profits while at at a Manhattan-based investor relations firm where he used inside client information to trade.

An SEC investigation and ongoing forensic analysis of Lucarelli’s work computers uncovered that he repeatedly accessed clients’ draft press releases stored on his firm’s computer network prior to public announcements. The SEC alleges that Lucarelli, who had no legitimate work-related reason to access the draft press releases, routinely purchased stock or call options in advance of favorable news and sold short or bought put options ahead of unfavorable news.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Lucarelli.

According to the complaint, Lucarelli began taking a position in a client’s securities in the days immediately preceding the announcement, although in a few instances he began making his purchases weeks in advance. Lucarelli started divesting himself of his position immediately after the announcement in order to reap instant profits.

The SEC further alleges that Lucarelli attempted to hide his illicit behavior by lying to brokerage firms where he set up his trading accounts. Lucarelli purposely omitted listing his inve......................

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