Chief Investment Officer of New Jersey Hedge Fund Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 19, 2011|
NEWARK, NJ—The chief investment officer and portfolio manager of the Clay Capital Fund, a hedge fund based in Summit, N.J., admitted today to participating in an insider trading scheme which netted more than $2.5 million in illicit profits, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
James Turner, 44, of Traverse City, Mich., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with securities fraud. Turner entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Beginning in 2006, Turner received inside information from his brother-in-law, Scott Vollmar, and from Scott Robarge, Turner’s friend and former college classmate. Vollmar, who was formerly employed as a director of business development at Autodesk Inc., a software company based in California, passed inside information to Turner concerning Autodesk’s confidential negotiations to acquire Moldflow Corp. Turner admitted he used that inside information to purchase more than $7 million worth of Moldflow stock for the Clay Capital Fund and for himself and his family members. Following the public announcement of Autodesk’s acquisition of Moldflow, Turner sold the Moldflow shares he had bought, realizing illicit profits of more than $1.7 million. Turner further admitted he received inside information from Vollmar in advance of the public release of Autodesk’s earnings reports, and that he used this information to trade Autodesk stock, resulting in illicit profits of more than $500,000.
Scott Robarge, who was formerly employed as a recruiting technology manager at Salesforce.com Inc., a software company based in California, passed inside information to Turner concerning Saleforce’s quarterly sales results. Turner admitted he used this inside information to trade Salesforce stock, realizing illicit profits of more than $200,000.
Turner, who was released on $300,000 bond, faces a maximum potential term of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum fine of $5,000,000. Sentencing before Judge Cavanaugh is scheduled for April 16, 2012.
Vollmar and Robarge have both previously pleaded guilty. Vollmar is scheduled to be sentenced on March 5, 2012, and Robarge on March 26, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward in Newark; postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett; the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Chicago Regional Office, under the direction of Merri Jo Gillette, for the investigation leading to today’s plea. He also thanked the SEC Market Abuse Unit, under the direction of Daniel M. Hawke, for its important role in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Kelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
Defense counsel: Joseph S. Bush Esq., Muskegon, Mich.