Two junior investment bankers, one from Moelis & Company and another from Centerview Partners LLC., fell in love with one another, then decided to operate an international insider-trading scheme using nonpublic information from each other's firms to sell to securities traders around the world, reaped millions of dollars, are currently on the run as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a civil complaint against the pair, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Darina Windsor (Centerview) and Benjamin Taylor (Moelis & Company), two former junior-level bankers, were not just young millennial lovers, they also operated a yearslong global insider trading ring.
They stole confidential documents detailing upcoming corporate transactions for mainly US-listed companies that were then sold off to traders in various countries. The scheme yielded the pair millions of dollars, SEC prosecutors said.
Court documents filed by the SEC Tuesday said Windsor, 32, and Taylor, 35, were among six people charged in separate indictments.
SEC prosecutors allege the couple stole nonpublic corporate documents from eaches respected firm and shared it with traders across Europe.
Windsor worked at Centerview until 2016, and Taylor was an employee at Moelis from 2012-2014. It's believed the couple is still on the run.
"The insider trading charges announced today lay bare a long-running international scheme stretching over the course of years, whose participants earned tens of millions of dollars in illicit profits from illegally trading on stolen inside information," said Audrey Strauss, the deputy U.S. attorney in Manhattan.
Court documents allege the couple sold inside information on 22 companies from 2H12 through 1Q18. Some of the nonpublic information were upcoming deals on Merk, Amgen, and Celgene. The data was then passed onto intermediaries, who then supplied it to a network of traders in Switzerland and London. SEC prosecutors said these traders made tens of millions of dollars in illicit gains.
Taylor used several burner phones and cryptic smartphone apps to communicate with intermediaries.
"Once upon a time, there was a Pops searching for Truffles in the Forest," the subject line of an email Windsor wrote to Taylor that had inside information about Amgen buying out Onyx Pharmaceuticals for $8.5 billion in 2013 -- the data was then passed onto middlemen who supplied it to traders in Europe.
The SEC alleges the couple made millions of dollars from selling nonpublic information to various traders.
In a separate indictment, Joseph El-Khouri, a London-based trader, was charged by the SEC for paying an intermediary for inside information, who was part of Windsor and Taylor's scheme.
El-Khouri was arrested in London on Monday and will likely be extradited to the US in the near term.
And to come full circle with our earlier report last weekend, detailing how Bryan Cohen, a vice president at Goldman Sachs, was arrested last Friday by the Feds for leaking nonpublic information. It appears Cohen has now been linked to the international insider-trading ring.