A former risk manager at Nomura Holdings Inc.’s Americas division in Manhattan pleaded guilty to securities fraud, admitting he traded last year using inside information about a private equity fund’s planned takeover of a technology company.
Avaneesh Krishnamoorthy was accused in April of reaping about $48,000 from trades in the analytics firm NeuStar Inc. after learning Golden Gate Capital LP planned to buy it. Krishnamoorthy snapped up hundreds of NeuStar shares through an undisclosed brokerage account the day after Nomura circulated a confidential email about the deal, which it helped finance.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” said Krishnamoorthy, 42, in Manhattan federal court before apologizing to his family, which wasn’t present. He wore a dark suit and spoke softly with his head lowered.
Krishnamoorthy faces a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars, though he’s likely to serve far less as a result of the plea agreement with prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman set a sentencing hearing for Nov. 21, saying Krishnamoorthy can’t appeal a sentence of less than 16 months.
Furman also told Krishnamoorthy, a citizen of India, that he risks being detained by immigration agents and deported as soon as his sentence is over.
Krishnamoorthy’s wife, Shreya Achar, is named in a related civil suit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Her account at the same outside brokerage firm was used to make many of the illegal trades. She wasn’t charged in the criminal case.
“Mr. Krishnamoorthy takes full responsibility for his actions, including the trades he executed in an account in his wife’s name,” the couple’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said in a statement. “Like many couples, Mr. Krishnamoorthy has full access to his wife’s account, but she had absolutely nothing to do with the trading in question and the government has not alleged otherwise.”
Krishnamoorthy, who started at Japan-based Nomura in 2011, became a vice president and risk management specialist in 2015, providing technical support to internal committees that reviewed potential business deals, court records show. Golden Gate bought NeuStar at a premium of more than 20 percent.
He tried to hide his trading by using the personal brokerage account and transferred tens of thousands of dollars out of the brokerage accounts and into a bank immediately after being confronted about the insider trading, according to the SEC complaint.
Jennifer Will, a Nomura spokeswoman in New York, declined to comment.
The case is U.S. v. Krishnamoorthy, 17-cr-323, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).