A former trader at ConvergEx Global Markets Limited (CGM Limited) pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in New Jersey for his role in a scheme to falsify the books and records of a registered U.S. broker-dealer.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey, Assistant Director in Charge Andrew G. McCabe of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) made the announcement.
Michael Craig Marshall, 47, of Bermuda, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares of the District of New Jersey, to one count of conspiracy to falsify the books and records of a broker-dealer.
According to court documents, CGM Limited and G-Trade Services, LLC (G-Trade) were both wholly owned subsidiaries of ConvergEx Group LLC (ConvergEx Group). G-Trade was a registered U.S. broker-dealer. As part of his plea today, Marshall admitted that clients placed orders to buy or sell securities with G-Trade, and G-Trade then routed the orders to CGM Limited. Marshall further admitted that traders at CGM Limited regularly added a mark-up (an additional amount paid for the purchase of a security) or mark-down (a reduction of the amount received for the sale of a security) when executing the orders. Employees of CGM Limited, G-Trade and other ConvergEx Group entities referred to mark-ups and mark-downs as “spread,” “trading profits” or “TP.”
At his plea hearing today, Marshall admitted that he and the other coconspirators falsified G-Trade’s books and records. In particular, Marshall admitted that he reviewed falsified transaction reports for two trades executed in August 2009 to verify that the falsified data regarding the quantities, prices and times of the purchases reflected on the report matched actual trades that had been executed on the market on Aug. 7, 2009, by both G-Trade’s client and other market participants. The reports hid the fact that spread had been taken on the brokerage orders, Marshall admitted. These reports were later provided to G-Trade’s client.
On Dec. 18, 2013, Jonathan Daspin, the head trader at CGM Limited, Thomas Lekargeren, a sales trader at a different ConvergEx subsidiary, and CGM Limited each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. On the same day, ConvergEx Group entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. Collectively, the two ConvergEx entities paid $43.8 million in criminal penalties and restitution.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the USPIS offices in Washington, D.C. and New York. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorneys Jason Linder and Patrick Pericak of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Schwartz of the District of New Jersey. Fraud Section Assistant Chief Robert Zink and Trial Attorney Justin Goodyear also assisted with the investigation. The Department appreciates the substantial assistance of the Securities and Exchange Commission.