On behalf of Law Offices of Dan C. Guthrie, Jr. on Monday, March 17, 2014.
Daniel Lutz Bergin, 41, of Dallas has been indicted on allegations of securities fraud. The indictment alleges that from 2008 to May 23, 2013, Mr. Bergin was an equity trader employed by Cushing MLP Asset Management LP (Cushing), an investment adviser in Dallas, Texas. Cushing is a wholly owned subsidiary ofSwank Capital LLC with approximately $2.5 billion in assets under management that provided advisory and portfolio management services to institutional clients, including high net worth individuals, investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, and state/municipal government entities.
The indictment alleges that beginning in at least January 2010, until his termination on May 23, 2013, Mr. Bergin misused inside or material, non-public information when placing trades in a personal brokerage account held in his wife’s name. This allowed Mr. Bergin to take advantage of opportunities to buy and sell the same securities in which he was placing trades on behalf of Cushing’s clients’ and proprietary accounts. Although Mr. Bergin disclosed certain personal brokerage accounts held in his name at Fidelity and Scottrade, he failed to disclose brokerage accounts in his wife’s name at Fidelity and eTrade.
According to an SEC complaint filed against him in May 2013, Mr. Bergin made illegal profits of at least $1.7 million. The SEC obtained an Order that froze Mr.Bergin’s assets in that case.
(Guthrie’s Comment: The SEC is aggressively pursuing cases involving insider trading. Typically the SEC will obtain an Order that freezes the defendant’s assets prior to an indictment. Unless counsel has been retained counsel with non-tainted funds prior to this happening, a defendant often finds that he or she cannot get access to their own money to retain experienced counsel to defend against the criminal charges. This case highlights the importance of retaining counsel at the first sign of any investigation by the SEC.)