Former Wells Fargo broker embroiled in insider beef

Broker had a client invested in the private-equity shop that was acquiring Burger King Holding

Jan 14, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

By Mason Braswell

burger king, broker, wells fargo, insider trading, M&A, fraud, brazil
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(Bloomberg News)

A former broker with Wells Fargo Advisors has been ordered to pay $5.6 million to settle charges of insider trading in shares of Burger King Holdings Inc., according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC said that Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto, a citizen of Brazil, misappropriated material nonpublic information from a customer and used it to trade Burger King stock options and tip others before the company's Sept. 2, 2010, announcement that it was being acquired by a New York private-equity firm.

The customer had invested $50 million in a fund managed by the private-equity firm that was used to acquire Burger King, according to the SEC, which said Mr. Prado made $175,000 in illicit profits and tipped at least four others living in Brazil and elsewhere. They made some $2 million in gains cumulatively, the SEC said.

“I'm in Brazil with information that cannot be sent by e-mail. You can't miss it,” Mr. Prado wrote in an e-mail to a friend, according to the SEC.

The judgment ordered Mr. Prado to disgorge $397,110 in ill-gotten gains from the illegal Burger King trading, prejudgment interest of $41,622 and $5,195,500 in penalties.

Mr. Prado could not be reached for comment. The SEC said in the complaint that he had fled to Brazil.

Wells Fargo was not named in the SEC's complaint. A representative of the firm said it had cooperated with the investigation but declined to comment further.

In August, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. barred Mr. Prado from associating with any member firms.

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