December 21, 2012

Cheverus High grad sentenced for insider trading

BY LESLIE BRIDGERS

BY LESLIE BRIDGERS

Portland Press Herald

A Cheverus High School alumnus, former trustee and major donor was one of two former hedge-fund managers convicted Monday for their roles in an insider-trading scheme that illegally netted more than $72 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.

Anthony Chiasson, 39, co-founder and former manager of Level Global Investors LP, donated at least $20,000 to Cheverus within the last two years -- money that was used for financial aid for students to attend the Jesuit school in Portland, said Brian Dudley, vice president of institutional advancement.

Dudley wouldn't disclose the total amount of donations to Cheverus, but he said Chiasson was listed among donors who gave $10,000 or more -- the highest category -- in both 2010 and 2011.

"Cheverus is saddened by the news. Our prayers are with his family," the school said in a statement responding to Chiasson's conviction.

Chiasson, a 1991 Cheverus graduate, served on the school's board of trustees from June 2009 until January, when federal agents descended on his apartment in Manhattan and later arrested him on securities fraud charges.

Chiasson's hedge fund closed last year amid the FBI investigation into a scheme that involved trading on inside tips from employees at technology companies Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. in 2008 and 2009.

Seven analysts and fund mangers were arrested on charges stemming from the scheme. All but Chiasson and Todd Newman, a former portfolio manager at Diamondback Capital Management, pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

Newman, 48, also was found guilty Monday on conspiracy and fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He and Chiasson are scheduled to be sentenced April 19.

Chiasson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine -- or twice the gross gain or loss -- for each of five counts of substantive securities fraud, as well as up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine -- or twice the gross gain or loss -- for conspiracy to commit securities fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Gregory Morvillo, Chiasson's attorney, said he will pursue an appeal.

"We are profoundly disappointed in the verdict," he said in a prepared statement. Morvillo said he believes Chiasson will be able to restore his good name.

"He has always been, and will continue to be, an honest, hardworking man."

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