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05/14/07

Lawyer couple accused of insider trading



A lawyer couple - Randi Collotta, 30, former Morgan Stanley and Co. employee in Manhattan and her husband, Christopher Collotta, 34, into private practice -has been convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud. The Collotta couple received $9,000 in kickbacks for providing inside tips. Their alleged `help' saw amassing of $600,000 in illegal profits, declared Andrew Fish, Assistant U.S. Attorney. Altogether, 13 people have been criminally charged in the $15 million scam involving top-tier U.S. financial firms.

The couple will receive their sentence September 7 as set by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero.

Even though the couple can escape the jail for $250,000 bail each, the Collottas have agreed not to appeal any sentences for less than a year and a half. Randi Collotta was serving Morgan Stanley's global compliance division as an associate at the time of the conspiracy. In September 2004, Randi Collotta agreed providing her husband, Christopher, with inside information. She passed information on pending mergers and acquisitions between September 2004 and July 2005.

The information Randi collected from her Morgan Stanley office, was passed onto Marc Jurman, a broker in Florida. Jurman, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud March, amassed $38,500 and more in illegal profits after Collotta passed him the inside information based on which he traded securities.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) described the case as one of the most pervasive Wall Street insider trading rings since the 1980s. It said that Wall Street insider trading rings and its 'ringleaders' hide their actions through hush-hush meetings, 'disposable cell phones, and secret codes.'

Meanwhile, Jennifer Wang, who also worked at Morgan Stanley, and her husband, Ruben Chen, of New Jersey were charged in another insider-trading case with conspiracy and securities fraud. While serving Morgan Stanley as a vice president, Wang allegedly made $600,000 on trading based on material, nonpublic information she stole from the company. She and her husband Chen, former vice president at ING Investment Management Americas were each released on $2 million bail. Chen, however, is also required to submit to electronic monitoring for his whereabouts.

O'Melveny & Myers strengthens Financial Restructuring Group

Keeping an eye on the expanding restructuring market, international law firm O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, announced the strengthening of its Financial Restructuring Group. The firm is also looking at adding to the strength of its M&A and private equity practice in New York with the new appointments to the group.

O'Melveny & Myers has nearly 1,000 lawyers in 13 offices across the world. The firm provides services in areas including Appellate, Corporate practice, Fund & Investment management, and Intellectual Property. O'Melveny also supports community-driven initiatives and is committed to pro bono work and increasing diversity in the legal profession.

The new additions to the firm's Financial Restructuring Group include Michael J. Sage, former co-chair of the Financial Restructuring Group at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, and other Stroock partners Gerald C. Bender, Doron Lipshitz, and Patricia M. Perez. Apart from restructuring, the new appointees also have experience in private-equity investments, fund management, and M&A transactions.

O'Melveny's Restructuring Group will be headed by Sage together with San-Francisco-based partner Suzzanne Uhland.

BIZARRE NEWS

This comes on Mother's Day
Mother accused of mutilating her three-month-old son's genitals

This is one of the most upsetting stories of 'mother mutilating her child'. A 25-year-old Houston woman is accused of mutilating her three-month-old son's genitals with a sharp instrument. Katherine Nadal was arrested last Friday on $100,000 bail. She now awaits a court hearing. The incident took place on March 13. Nadal had claimed that the family's pet dog chewed away the child's genitals, while she napped. The claim was proven wrong after the dog was examined by a licensed veterinarian who disclosed that no human tissue was found on the animal or in its mouth. The mom has a history with drugs. In fact, she tested positive for cocaine and methadone the very next day of the incident. Since then she has been prohibited to see her son. The "sharp instrument" has not been identified as yet. Meanwhile, the dog has been released from custody and adopted. The mutilated child has undergone multiple surgeries. What has gotten into people today? Stoned mom chopping off son's genitals! It's really too disturbing to read such a bizarre news on mother's day! The judge refrains from taking a decision today. What should be the punishment, attorneys?


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