© 2020 SourceMedia. All rights reserved.

Ex-Morgan Stanley broker gets 18 months in prison for insider trading

A former Morgan Stanley broker was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in a multi-million dollar insider trading scheme, according to federal prosecutors.

Michael Siva, who had previously pleaded guilty in October 2018, used code words and other tactics to keep the scheme undetected by his employer, authorities say.

Siva, 57, of Morristown, New Jersey, had been registered with Morgan Stanley from 1996 until his termination in August 2017 from the firm for allegedly engaging in insider trading, according to a note from the wirehouse on his FINRA BrokerCheck report. Authorities charged Siva and five others involved in the scheme during the same month; two had previously been charged and pleaded guilty.

From August 2013 through May 2017, Siva and his alleged co-conspirators made $5 million in illicit profits off misappropriated information originally provided by an investment banker, Daniel Rivas, according to federal prosecutors.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna is chief executive officer at Pulse Secure where he oversees all aspects of business strategy and execution. With nearly 25 years of experience across the cloud, mobility, networking, security and collaboration markets, Sudhakar joined Pulse Secure from Citrix. At Citrix, Sudhakar served as the senior vice president and general manager for the Enterprise and Service Provider Division, where he had profit and loss responsibility for approximately a $2.5 billion portfolio of virtualization, cloud networking, mobile platforms and cloud services solutions. Before Citrix, he was at Polycom and was president of products and services. Sudhakar has also held senior leadership roles at Motorola, 3COM and US Robotics and brings significant experience in strategic planning and execution, organization development, and incubating and scaling new businesses to Pulse Secure. Sudhakar earned his master’s degree in Computer Science from Kansas State, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Sudhakar is a member of the board of directors at Health iPass. He has significant experience as a board member and advisor of Public and Private companies.
2h ago
Rob Woollen is the chief executive officer and co-founder at Sigma Computing where he empowers business leaders and domain experts to ask any question of their data without writing a single line of SQL. He has more than two decades of experience building distributed and cloud systems. Prior to founding Sigma, Woollen was the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Sutter Hill Ventures and he worked at Salesforce.com for more than six years, serving in several roles including chief technology officer for the platform and Work.com. Previously, he was at BEA Systems and HP. Woollen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Princeton University.
2h ago
Rita Sallam is a research vice president and Gartner Fellow on the data and analytics team.
3h ago

Rivas was a technology consultant at an investment bank where he used the bank’s internal proprietary system to gain access to material, nonpublic information about potential and unannounced M&A deals, according to prosecutors. Rivas and another individual, James Moodhe, pleaded guilty and cooperated with investigators, prosecutors say. Authorities did not name the investment bank where Rivas worked.

Rivas passed on tips to Moodhe, the father of a woman he was dating at the time, and other individuals, prosecutors say. Moodhe, in turn, passed these on to Siva who used the tips to place trades in his clients’ brokerage accounts, as well as on his own behalf, according to prosecutors.

“Siva committed insider trading to make himself look like a talented stock selector,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.

To avoid detection, Siva and Moodhe used code phrases on the telephone or met in person at diners outside of New York, according to authorities. Siva also told Moodhe to mark trades “solicited” in his firm’s online trading system “so that it would appear that Siva had directed the trades as opposed to the suggestion coming from Moodhe,” prosecutors say.

In addition to illicit profits he earned off his own trades, Siva also earned commissions off trades he placed in client’s brokerage accounts, according to authorities.

The U.S. Attorney’s office credited the FBI and the SEC for their assistance in investigating the case.

The SEC, which is pursuing a separate civil case against Siva, said that its enforcement staff, using data analysis, was able to uncover “the illicit trading despite the traders’ alleged use of shell companies, code words, and an encrypted, self-destructing messaging application to evade detection.”

In addition to prison time, Siva was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $35,000.

Attorneys representing Siva and Rivas could not be reached for comment. An attorney representing Moodhe declined to comment on the case.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.