A former tax accountant at KPMG LLP has admitted to engaging in tipping and insider trading using confidential information about three client firms who were facing takeover bids.

The Ontario Securities Commission said Andrei Postrado, 28, admitted he earned a profit of $200,375 in 2015 by buying securities of three companies in advance of public announcements of takeover deals.

He reached a settlement with the regulator, agreeing to a seven-year ban from trading securities and a seven-year ban on working as a registrant in the financial industry. He was ordered to pay $200,375 to the OSC to “disgorge” his profits in addition to a penalty of $20,000 and costs of $8,500.

Mr. Postrado worked in a junior role in KPMG’s real estate and construction tax department in Toronto. He was not part of the team working on the proposed deals, but was able to access documents in the tax department’s computer system, the OSC said in a settlement agreement released Wednesday.

In one case, Mr. Postrado overheard a conversation between a manager and a partner in the tax department and found out that a company was about to be acquired. He opened an online discount brokerage account at BMO InvestorLine and bought shares of the company in June, 2015.

In the second case, he accessed documents in KPMG’s computer system and opened an account at Questrade Inc. in July, 2015, to buy units of the company using cash advances on three TD Visa credit cards. After overhearing a conversation about a third deal, he bought $159,000 worth of shares and made a profit of $194,000 on his trading, the OSC said.

Andrei Postrado “has accepted full responsibility for his conduct and is remorseful,” the settlement agreement said. “He has extremely limited resources, no assets in his name and is currently unemployed.”

Mr. Postrado was also accused of passing along tips about the deals to his father, Fernando Postrado, who also bought shares in two of the companies and made a profit of $101,777 on one deal and $4,506 (U.S.) on another.

Fernando Postrado reached a settlement agreement with the OSC in May, agreeing to a five-year ban on trading securities and a $10,000 penalty. He was also ordered to pay $109,200 to the OSC to disgorge his trading profits.

In his settlement deal in May, Fernando Postrado also said he has “extremely limited resources and no assets in his name.”

KPMG spokeswoman Tenille Kennedy said the firm learned about the allegations when it was contacted by the OSC about an investigation in December, and said Andrei Postrado’s employment was terminated.

“Given the firm’s commitment to conduct ourselves at all times with the highest integrity and respect for the law, we were appalled to learn of these allegations against our former employee,” Ms. Kennedy said in an e-mailed statement. “We are confident that this was an isolated incident and is in no way reflective of how we conduct our business.”

She said the company remains committed to protecting the “privacy and confidentiality” of client information.

Source:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/the-law-page/former-kpmg-tax-accountant-admits-to-insider-trading-stock-tipping/article30350426/

Advertisements