Another insider trading case goes to trial

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The FBI raids of Level Global Investors and Diamondback Capital Management generated modest media two years ago, an apparent blip in a massive effort to indict bigger fish.

But the case continued to the point where two defendants from those firms are on trial in Manhattan federal court this week. Given the government's track record so far--prosecutors have racked up about 60 convictions--you would have to make Level Global co-founder Anthony Chiasson and former Diamondback portfolio manager Todd Newman the underdogs.

They are accused of making more than $67 million illegally via inside information about Dell and Nvidia. The government has lined up its signature advantages in the 5-yeatr investigation.

"Of the eight people charged in relation to this case, six have pleaded guilty to insider trading and are cooperating with the U.S. They include Jesse Tortora, a former Diamondback analyst; Spyridon "Sam" Adondakis, an analyst at New York- based Level Global; and Danny Kuo, a former analyst at Whittier Trust Co., a South Pasadena, California-based wealth-management company," notes Bloomberg.

The prosecution also intends to play taped phone calls, which have proven devastatingly effecting in other insider trading trials. Prosecutors have said that the case "describes a tight-knit circle of greed on the part of professionals willing to traffic in confidential information. It was a circle of friends who essentially formed a criminal club, whose purpose was profit and whose members regularly bartered inside information."

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