Federal prosecutors in New York announced that two men have been arrested for allegedly conspiring to carry out an insider trading scheme, according to ThinkAdvisor.
51-year-old Lawrence Billimek, a trader with TIAA unit Nuveen, and 77-year-old Alan Williams, a retired financial professional, were charged in an indictment in Manhattan federal court. The two are charged with conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud in a scheme that ran from 2016 to 2022.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Billimek had access to confidential information about stocks his employer was about to trade on, including Lululemon Athletica and Ulta Beauty, and passed it along to Williams. Williams then allegedly placed profitable trades ahead of those transactions, earning the two defendants an estimated $47 million from trades that were made on at least 1,000 occasions. Williams shared the profits with Billimek through checks and wire transfers and the two used prepaid, unregistered “burner” phones to conceal their conduct, the indictment said.
“By stealing confidential trade information from a major financial services organization, Lawrence Billimek betrayed the trust and confidence of his employer and schemed with Alan Williams to make tens of millions of dollars of illegal profit,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “Billimek and Williams tried to cover their tracks by using burner phones and secret payments, but their scheme has now been laid bare.”
The charges the two are facing carry a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison. Along with the criminal charges, Billimek and Williams are also being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Authorities are seeking the forfeiture of over $40 million along with properties in Texas, Idaho, Hawaii, and Oregon.
A spokesperson for Nuveen said Billimek was placed on leave and his access to all company networks was suspended following the arrest. The company has launched its own review of the case and is cooperating with the government.
The lawyers at Lewitas Hyman have extensive experience representing companies both large and small, as well as employees, directors, officers and shareholders, in complex ThinkAdvisor pending in federal and state courts nationwide and in arbitrations before various dispute resolution forums. Please contact us at (844) 651-2641 for more information about our securities and commercial litigation practice.