Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

May 22, 2019

For those of you mourning the end of "Game of Thrones," try wrapping your head around this:
Morgan Stanley executive suggested cash could be funneled through private firm to pay Connecticut state senator wife's girlfriend (CNBC. com by Dan Mangan)
As set forth in preamble to the story:

Connecticut state Sen. Alex Bergstein's divorce case with her husband, Morgan Stanley managing director Seth Bergstein, has exposed her new romantic relationship with her former campaign manager, Nichola Samponaro.

Seth Bergstein allegedly suggested that some of his money that he promised his wife be funneled through a private company to pay for the legislative salary of Samponaro if Senate Democrats did not pay her salary, according to court documents. He never actually paid the money.

Alex Bergstein in November became the first Democrat since 1930 to be elected to the state Senate out of Greenwich.
In a recent FINRA intra-industry arbitration, we come across a former Scottrade Senior Manager of Brokerage Operations, who alleged that following his role in a workplace altercation, he was terminated in a manner that discriminated against him on the basis of age and race. The parties settled the matter and the associated person pursued an expungement of his industry record. Exactly what happened is not substantively disclosed in the FINRA Arbitration Decision. The terms of the settlement are not revealed. What the arbitrators deemed defamatory is not spelled out. To quote Bob Dylan's "Ballad of A Thin Man" And you know something's happening but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?
In an Indictment filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Mark Wayne Ramsey is charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and four counts of securities fraud. As set forth in part in the DOJ Release:

[R]amsey conspired with Damilare Sonoiki and Marvin Mychal Kendricks, both of whom have already pleaded guilty to similar charges. The indictment alleges that Sonoiki (then an analyst at a global investment bank in New York) provided material, non-public information to Kendricks (then a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles) and to Ramsey, who was Kendricks' roommate.  The information that Sonoiki provided was about upcoming mergers involving four investment bank clients. Sonoiki obtained this information in violation of his duty of confidentiality that he owed to the investment bank.

The indictment alleges that Kendricks gave Ramsey access to his brokerage account. Relying on the material, non-public information they received from Sonoiki, Kendricks and Ramsey purchased call options between July 2014 and November 2014 in the target companies: Compuware Corporation, Move, Inc., Sapient Corporation, and Oplink Communications LLC.  When the proposed merger was announced in each case, the value of the options went up significantly.  During the period of the conspiracy, Kendricks made a profit of nearly $1.2 million. The indictment alleges that Kendricks provided, among other things, $15,000 to Ramsey for his participation in the scheme.

Consolidated Audit Trail / FINRA Reminds Firms to Register for CAT Reporting by June 27, 2019 (FINRA Regulatory Notice 19-19)
As set forth in part in the "Summary" of the FINRA Regulatory Notice:

FINRA is issuing this Notice to remind firms they must register with FINRA CAT, LLC (FINRA CAT) for reporting to the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT). CAT registration commenced on March 18, 2019, and will run through June 27, 2019. All Industry Members, as defined under the CAT NMS Plan, that will have a CAT reporting obligation must register during this window. . . .